Abergavenny cycling centre could cost £1.2m

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Friday, May 10th, 2019 12:30am

By Saul Cooke-Black - Local Democracy Reporter

An off-road cycling centre near Abergavenny could cost around £1.2 million to build, a report has revealed.

Since 2013, Monmouthshire council and Welsh Cycling have been seeking to establish a regional centre to boost the town’s reputation as a premier cycling destination.

The proposed closed road circuit in Llanfoist is designed to national standards and aimed at hosting local, regional and national events, races and training camps in a safe, traffic-free environment.

Early designs show two loops measuring 900 and 500 metres, though there are plans to cut the smaller loop in favour of a longer track up to 1.5 kilometres long.
 
A council spokeswoman said: “The topography of the site unique for an off-road cycle facility, as many of those provided elsewhere in Wales and the UK are very flat.

“This site is likely to incorporate at least one reasonably testing incline and it may also be beneficial for spectators, as they will be able to see most of the track from one vantage point.

Demand for such a facility is high, with 24 cycling clubs and 1,200 British Cycling members within a 20-mile radius of Abergavenny.

This includes Abergavenny Road Club, which boasts more than 200 members including double Olympic medallist Becky James and her Welsh rugby international fiancée George North.

“Cycling in Abergavenny is a strong participation sport and the town has an enviable record of promoting local, national and international cycling events,” says a council report.

“The needs analysis shows that there is a lack of suitable facilities to act as a cycling hub for the local area and the wider cycling region.”

The council had considered King Henry VIII Comprehensive School, which is used as a training base for Abergavenny Road Club, as a potential location for the track.

But concerns were raised over the club being displaced during the circuit’s construction and future redevelopment of the school.

Proposals for a similar facility at the outdoor education centre in Gilwern were shelved at an earlier stage because of “overriding environmental constraints”.

Monmouthshire council spent £5,000 assessing the feasibility of both sites and will receive £100,000 in grant funding from Sport Wales to develop its ideas.

The money will be spent securing planning permission and getting the scheme “shovel ready” by the end of March 2020.

Councillors will be asked to give their support to the development at a meeting on May 16.

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