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Opening Date Announced for Hicks Lodge, The New National Forest Cycle Centre

Wednesday, 11th May 2011

Pump up those tyres and saddle up!  The new National Forest Cycle Centre at Hicks Lodge, near Ashby de la Zouch, Leicestershire, will be open for business on Wednesday 1 June. 

Following the opening ceremony at 11 am, it’ll be ready, steady, go for the first cyclists to try out the eight miles of off-road trails.  The Centre is already attracting plenty of attention and with the opening date falling within the half-term holiday, there will be no shortage of cyclists eager to try out the twists and turns of the different grades of trail.

The new café and the bike hire and repair shop will be in full swing, and there will be guided rides and other activities throughout the day. The trails are perfect for family and novice cycling, with plenty of opportunities for youngsters to hone their skills.

The £1.5 million project features a stunning glass and timber building that uses the latest environmentally-friendly technology. It is heated by a wood chip boiler, generates energy through solar panels and recycles rainwater. 

The centre has been developed by the National Forest Company and site-owners the Forestry Commission.  It will be run by Purple Mountain, which manages similar cycle centres in North Yorkshire and Northumberland.

Alan Leather, project co-ordinator on behalf of the National Forest Company, said: ‘The centre is going to be a great way to introduce families and beginners to easy, fun cycling in a beautiful environment. Youngsters will be able to learn to ride, practise their skills or even get started on racing, while families can enjoy the surfaced trails and explore the attractive woodlands.’

Alan Dowell, area forester for the Forestry Commission added: ‘This exciting new centre, designed especially for families, offers something unique and different from our other sites in the Midlands.’

He continued: ‘The extensive traffic free trails and high quality facilities look set to be a big hit with a wide range of visitors to The National Forest.’

Vicky Griffin from Purple Mountain said: “We are very excited to be working with the National Forest Company and can’t wait to see everyone get pedalling!’

The Cycle Centre is funded by the 6Cs Strategic Green Infrastructure Growth Fund and the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership.