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Ipswich: Town in line for £1million cycling centre

PUBLISHED: 18:39 14 November 2012

The proposed Ipswich Cycling Centre would welcome people of all ages looking for competitive or leisure coaching and racing

The proposed Ipswich Cycling Centre would welcome people of all ages looking for competitive or leisure coaching and racing

Archant

A STATE-of-the-art £1million cycling centre could be built in Ipswich by 2016, The Star can reveal today.

After the huge success of Team GB riders at this summer’s Olympics, British Cycling is keen to maintain interest and participation in the sport – and has identified the town as a priority area.

And The Star has learnt that bosses have earmarked Ravenswood for the facility, which could even include an outdoor velodrome.

Talks are currently ongoing between Ipswich Borough Council and British Cycling.

David Cockram, national facilities officer at British Cycling, said the complex could be a closed road circuit – a small version of a motorcycle circuit on tarmac.

“There is a plan to build one in Ipswich but the ball is in the local authority’s court,” he said.

“But they are saying they would back any bid to bring a top-class cycling facility and that is the sort of positive message we are looking for.

“It is a project we will hopefully complete within the next four years. It could only take 12 to 18 months to build.

“There are no plans for an indoor velodrome, but an outdoor one is a conversation worth having.

“Ipswich is a big place and needs a cycling facility. It is very important it gets one.

“It’s hard to estimate how much it would cost but the average is £600,000 to £700,000, but other centres have cost a couple of million. It depends on the scope of the project.”

Ipswich has successfully hosted a number of major cycling events recently, including the Tour of Britain, SkyRide and European Cyclo-Cross Championships.

An Ipswich Borough Council spokesman said the authority would “support any bid to bring a top-class cycling facility to the town”.

Steve Grimwood, who helped organise the European Cyclo-Cross Championships and owns Elmy Cycles in St Helen’s Street, said Revenswood was an ideal location for the centre.

“British cycling have been down two or three times and said it would be absolutely fantastic to put something there,” he said. “They are 100 per cent behind the project.

“We want to provide a permanent facility which will benefit the people of Ipswich, with one central track to provide coaching and competition.

“We will hopefully be running programmes right from the playground to the podium.

“But it’s a real game of chess at the moment. We might have to move things around to create the right spaces.”

The airport in Nacton Road closed in 1997 to make way for the Ravenswood estate.

A Suffolk man had admitted defrauding a sports and social club by almost £27,000.

This year’s SPILL Festival of Performance will begin with the world premiere of Clarion Call, a co-commission between Ipswich arts charity the Pacitti Company and 14-18 NOW, which was behind the Tower of London poppies project.

Building the Orwell Bridge was only one of three options considered when an Ipswich by-pass was first seriously considered in the 1970s, the former chief executive of Suffolk County Council has revealed.

A “smash” was heard moments before a car was set alight in a suspected arson attack in Ipswich last night.

Witham MP Priti Patel faced questions over the prospect of a possible Cabinet return this morning in her first broadcast interview since quitting over her secret meetings with senior Israeli figures last year.

The government has still not agreed a deal to end its £50m commitment for the regional fire control “white elephant” in Cambridgeshire – nearly two years after negotiations started.

A police helicopter was involved in a search which continues this morning for a motorist involved in a single-vehicle crash in Suffolk last night.

This is the last week that market traders will operate from Ipswich’s Cornhill for at least a year as work to rebuild the town centre is due to start.

James Blunt and Plan B have joined this year’s Newmarket Nights line-up.

Drivers are being warned they could face delays as roadworks begin at one of Ipswich’s busiest junctions this morning.

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