A BMX track is gearing up to welcome cyclists back after being given a new lease of life.
Sunderland City Council has invested £80,000 on improving the surface and refining the layout of the track at Hetton Lyons Country Park as part of its drive to encourage more people to be active.
The investment is in response to the Let’s Talk Keeping Hetton Active consultation held in Autumn 2021 which asked local people what would help them to be more active.
Councillor Linda Williams, Sunderland City Council’s Cabinet Member for Vibrant City, said: “We’re delighted to have been able to bring the BMX track back into use. We’re hoping that its new improved surface will attract users of all ages and help make it a year round attraction.
“This is very much about the City Council listening to residents in Hetton, and delivering on the things that they told us would help them to be more active. There’s real resurgence in interest in cycling at the moment and improvements to cycling facilities was one of the things residents said they would like to see.
“We hope this investment will help more people in Hetton to enjoy all of the physical and mental health benefits that come with being active by taking advantage of what’s on their doorstep. It also fits really well with the City Council’s Swim Bike Run programme, which is all about inspiring residents to become more physically active by taking up swimming, cycling and running.”
“After the thrill of welcoming the Tour Series, British Triathlon Super Series Grand Final and the Tour of Britain to our city last year as part of this, we hope that seeing some of the world’s best athletes in action at the World Triathlon Championship Series at Roker this July will be equally inspirational.”
John Pooley, Supervisor at Springboard Adventure which offers a range of adventure activities at Hetton Lyons Country Park, said:
“The refurbished BMX track is a welcome improvement to the park and already children and young people are commenting about how they are enjoying the track. Hetton Lyons Country Park already has some wonderful facilities and we are confident that this investment and improvement will help more people enjoy their visit and importantly be active.”
In response to other suggestions put forward by residents during the consultation, Sunderland City Council has also invested:
• £15,000 in e-bikes for people with disabilities, for use by Springboard as part of its People’s Pedal Power project at Hetton Lyons Country Park. This has allowed people with disabilities to enjoy getting out and about on an e-bike in the park with a carer/ family member.
• £46,000 in outdoor gym equipment for use by visitors to the new Elemore Country Park.
The City Council and Springboard will also be looking to install a pontoon that will help with access to the Hetton Lyons Lake for open water swimming and water sports.
The new equipment has been funded by Section 106 developers’ contributions which councils receive towards the cost of improving community facilities, as a condition of planning permission when new developments are built in an area.