Fantastic new mountain bike trail and sports facilities now open!
Published on Friday, 18th February 2022
Fantastic new sports facilities have been officially opened in Bedworth’s Miners’ Welfare Park today (Friday 18 February).
Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council and its partners have been working hard to create the new facilities, which include a brand-new mountain bike trail and newly refurbished tennis courts, intended to support future leisure needs and encourage people to be more active in the Borough.
The projects are the first key step in already exciting plans for the park, which will also introduce a brand-new multi-million pound Bedworth Physical Activity Hub to replace the current leisure centre.
‘Miners’ Mountain Bike Trails’ is a completely free, British Cycling-approved family-friendly facility, which includes three different trails* of varying difficulty levels plus a skills area, pump trail and walking paths. In keeping with the area’s proud mining heritage, the trails have been named: Charity, Newdigate, Hawkesbury and Woodlands, after local Bedworth coal pits.
Nigel Huddleston, Under-secretary of State for Sport, Heritage and Tourism, performed the opening, he said:
“Physical activity is vital to our mental health and wellbeing, so venues such as this are crucial to levelling up access and driving participation rates for all.
“The Government has worked closely with Sport England and British Cycling to provide funding for this exciting new development, and I would encourage everyone to come down and make the most of it.”
Funding was provided by the Borough Council, Sport England, as well as British Cycling, supported by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sports.
Tim Hollingsworth, Chief Executive for Sport England commented:
“The Places to Ride fund is part of Sport England’s overall determination to create accessible, affordable and safe places for local communities to get active. This ambition is a major part of our 10-year Uniting the Movement strategy, ensuring that wherever you live or whoever you are, there are ways for you to both play sport and get active. Programmes such as Places to Ride play a big part in converting the inspiration that comes from watching major sporting events into daily activity habits.
“Whether it’s a solo cycle or playing tennis or netball with friends and family, our investment of over £185,000 in Miners’ Welfare Park’s bike trail and sports courts will give the opportunity for those living in the local area to take part in a range of activity choices on their doorstep. It means there will be something for everyone - regardless of age, background and ability.”
Brian Facer, Chief Executive for British Cycling added:
“It is always fantastic to see the impact that investment from our Places to Ride fund has on the development of facilities and shows that bringing a major event to this country – in this case the 2019 UCI Road World Championships – can have a lasting legacy.
“Having top quality facilities which are safe and well maintained is crucial in enabling cyclists to continue the growth in participation we saw during the 2020 lockdowns, and then giving them somewhere where they can develop their skills, inspired by Olympic Mountain Bike gold medallists like Tom Pidcock.
“Off-road disciplines such as mountain biking are a key focus for us, and we hope that everyone who uses these new trails will be more engaged, become members of British Cycling, and have cycling as their sport of choice in the future.”
In addition to the bike trail, the sports courts at the park have also been significantly improved and modernised. Resurfacing of the tennis courts has taken place, brand new fences with a coded gate have been erected, and floodlighting has been installed. Netball facilities have also been introduced onto each of the courts, one being of county standard, making it a great asset to the Borough.
Through partnership working with Bedworth Sports Club who will manage the facilities, an additional six CCTV cameras have been installed to improve security. The Club have also been working with the LTA (Lawn Tennis Association) to develop a new online booking system to ensure access is as streamlined as possible and develop plans to drive participation.
Cllr Julian Gutteridge, Portfolio holder for Health and Environment was delighted to see the new facilities being opened, he said:
“With the path already being paved to build a brand-new Physical Activity Hub in Miners’ Welfare Park, these additions kick off an exciting journey to revitalise the sport and leisure offer in Bedworth.
“We want to offer as many opportunities as we can for people to get involved with sports and outdoor activities and these fabulous new facilities will enable people of all ages to do just that.”
Partnership working with Think Active, Warwickshire Community and Voluntary Action (WCAVA) and Netball England has ensured the success of the sports court project and alongside the Borough Council, funding was provided by Warwickshire County Council, Sport England, and the LTA.
Craig Tracey, Member of Parliament for North Warwickshire constituency which includes Bedworth, said:
“I was delighted to bring the Sports Minister, Nigel Huddleston MP, to Bedworth today to be part of the opening of this fabulous new facility for the local community.
“It was a great opportunity for him to see first-hand what this will mean for our area and to share in the celebrations with all those who’ve worked so hard together to get this project off the ground.
“We know the huge benefits of a healthy lifestyle and so the impact these new facilities can have on residents should not be underestimated. They will provide an excellent opportunity for people to get more active, with the added incentive to maybe try out a new activity for the first time.”
Natalie Manca-Wilcox, the LTA’s Participation Development Partner commented:
“This is an exciting new project that will really drive tennis participation in the local area. Working in partnership with tennis operators Inspire 2 Coach, there will be a range of opportunities from low-cost tennis coaching to membership options, that will ensure tennis is both affordable and accessible for all members of the local community. There will be an online booking platform alongside a revolutionary gate access technology system that will simplify the journey from couch to court and really make tennis a realistic, enjoyable experience regardless of age, gender, background or other. These fantastic facilities bring tennis in Bedworth amongst the very best tennis community facilities in the region and we are proud of the partnership work over the last few years which has led to this really positive outcome.”
Claire Brown, the LTA’s Head of Region for the Midlands, added:
"It’s great to see the newly refurbished tennis courts open at Miners’ Welfare Park, complete with the new gate access systems we have funded to make it easier for people to find and book a court. The LTA’s vision is to open up tennis and its benefits to more people, and this project forms part of our nationwide facility investment strategy which is designed to do just that. We hope the improved facilities will encourage more and more people in Bedworth to enjoy the benefits that getting active through tennis provides, regardless of their age, background, ability or disability.”
Cllr Heather Timms, Warwickshire County Council Portfolio Holder for Environment, Climate & Culture, said:
“These newly refurbished facilities provide an excellent opportunity for the communities of Nuneaton and Bedworth, and the wider county, to get involved in affordable, accessible sports and leisure activities to improve mental and physical health and wellbeing.
“Following the restrictions of the pandemic, Miners’ Welfare Park offers a refreshing space for people to connect with each other and feel a sense of belonging through the enjoyment of team sports and physical activity. The park will particularly encourage more women to participate in sports, provide diversionary activities for young people to help reduce local crime, and support Warwickshire’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged adults to enjoy a better quality of life. Opportunities to volunteer and develop professional skillsets will also be available to support individuals in becoming qualified local ambassadors and mentors.
“This is a great step forward for sports in Warwickshire to ensure that local communities and individuals are supported to be safe, healthy and independent.”
We strongly encourage users to follow the guidance and ensure they have suitable experience before they tackle each trail. The hardest, (red) trail is suitable only for proficient mountain bikers with good off-road riding skills.
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