Funding approved to create new Cannock Chase bike trails ahead of Commonwealth Games

Plans to create new bike trails in Cannock Chase Forest to be used during the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games have taken a step forward.

A biker competing in the National Mountain Bike Championships at Cannock Chase
A biker competing in the National Mountain Bike Championships at Cannock Chase

Cannock Chase Council bosses have approved plans from Forestry England to become a funding partner for a Commonwealth Games Legacy Project.

The forest will be one of the venues for the Games used for mountain biking events.

The project will create a new off-road cycling trail at Cannock Chase Forest, which is set to be the mountain bike venue for the Commonwealth Games 2022.

The trail will then act as a legacy project which can be used by residents and visitors.

Staffordshire County Council's cabinet has approved an investment of £50,000 towards the total cost of the project, which is £912,774.

A further £50,000 will also be earmarked to support future projects, opportunities and initiatives which may come about in the district from hosting the Commonwealth Games mountain biking event.

The legacy off-road cycle trail will encourage local residents to be physically active outdoors with a new blue bike intermediate trail which will act as a progression route to more technical and challenging routes such as the ‘Red’ Follow the Dog trail.

Councillor Christine Mitchell, sport lead for the council said: "This is a great opportunity for the district and we are pleased to be supporting this partnership project which is being led by Forestry England.

“The tracks are currently well used, and this investment gives us the potential to capitalize on the Commonwealth Games profile. It will provide more opportunities for residents and visitors to exercise outdoors, as well as delivering additional tourism benefits for the district.”

Andy Harvey-Coggins, recreation manager at Forestry England, said: “For some time we’ve had aspirations to improve our cycling trail offer for mid-level cyclists at Cannock Chase Forest.

"This funding will not only allow us to build that provision, it will also mean that we can create a bike play trail to inspire and help improve the cycling skills of the next generation of off-road cyclists, and also add more technical features to our popular red graded – difficult – mountain bike trails. This will mean we can provide a true ‘novice to expert’ off-road and traffic free cycling offer on Cannock Chase – away from the ecologically-sensitive areas of the Chase that we want to help protect."

Victoria Wilson, at Staffordshire County Council said: “It’s great news that Cannock Chase will host the mountain biking trials for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

“With a unique blend of stunning scenery and amazing wildlife, Cannock Chase is one of the jewels in the Staffordshire crown. And with some of the best mountain bike trails in the region, this is a great opportunity to show off our amazing county to a global audience."

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