07:59AM, Friday 09 August 2013
A state-of-the-art cycling centre for the Royal Borough could be built in the Windsor area.
The council's sports development team has revealed plans for a purpose-built facility for training and racing, which could cost somewhere between £600,000 and £1million.
Potential sites suggested include the Eton College-Jubilee River area near the Thames Path, or Berkshire College of Agriculture in Maidenhead.
The Crown Estate, as well as Summerleaze in Maidenhead, may also be approached to see if land is available.
The facility could feature a 1-2km cycling circuit, clubhouse, 100 parking spaces, mountain bike trails, a floodlit grass area for cyclo-cross training and a national standard BMX track.
The plans were backed by the borough's leisure, culture and libraries overview and scrutiny panel on Wednesday night.
Chairman Cllr Alan Mellins (Con, Cox Green) said the centre would have a positive effect on visitor numbers to the borough who would come from 'far and wide' to use it.
Cllr James Evans (Con, Clewer South), chairman of the council's cycling forum, said he and other forum members are 'excited' about the opportunity.
"We can see the increased interest in all sections and age groups of children in cycling," he said.
"We have had two winners of the Tour de France and now is the time to capitalise on the enthusiasm and get people on their bike."
But he added obstacles would have to be overcome if it is to be built.
These include raising the funds, as well as finding a suitable site.
Cash could come from a number of sources including the council itself, sports grants, Section 106 developer contributions and sustainable transport funds.
Borough sports development officer Helen Preedy said British Cycling says the area is not a priority for its capital funding programme, but it could still provide a grant.
She added Hillingdon Cycle Circuit in Hayes would be visited to gauge costs of a similar facility, and how it is run, while possible sites will be further investigated.
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