Cross posting a response I've just put on Facebook after similar questions were raised. Hope this helps clear things up. If you're REALLY that unhappy about the ideas though, we'll give your money back. If you want to get involved and have your say on the project then come to the social at the Lescar on 19th November at 7.30. There will be an update on Lady Cannings and open Q & A.
Posted on FB as follows......
1) The £8.5k actually arrived pretty quickly, but we have had little more over the summer because we haven't been in a position to unveil the full plan and keep pushing the funding. Maybe that was our mistake, but we felt we had to wait until we had the full plan before asking for more.
2) It's not just SCC who want this, although it's their suggestion as land owner. We've seen a massive increase in use on the largely volunteer built trails at Greno this year and they've been hammered. A lot of the work Bike Track have done recently is fixing up trails and putting a more machine built surface in to make them sustainable. The other issue for SCC is that they have pretty much no budget to maintain this trail, that all has to be volunteer led. We're happy to do this but their and our view is that paying more upfront for a more solidly built trail makes it more likely that Ride Sheffield can handle this with dig days without major rebuilding like we've seen at Greno. Even Parkwood needed a fair amount of work after the first few months use. The original pitch was for a loop, which would have been around 1.5-2km long. Now we have the new BW as the 'up' all the the 1.5km can now be swoopy trail in the down hill direction. And then after that if we raise more money SCC would allow us to get more trails than we ever dreamed of put in. This plan has way more trail than we originally hoped for. Finally, £20k for 1.5km of pro-built trail is actually pretty cheap. A recent What MTB article quoted an average price of £65/m for MTB trail. That would be nearly £100k for our 1.5km sliver of loveliness. To get something solidly professionally built for a fifth of that price is a bargain. If we miss the target by Christmas then the build will have to be put back to Autumn next year and at that point I think we will look at giving people their money back if they don't want to keep the faith. We hoep that won't happen. Also worth noting that with the higher target we can now approach more businesses. Before we got caught up in businesses wanting to name the trail for a couple of grand because that was a big slice of the target. We didn't want to give away naming rights because this is YOUR trail largely funded by YOU LOT. However, if those companies want to get on board with a few hundred quid or a grand they can see that it's a small percentage of a bigger target so can't expect so much in return, but may still want to support a great local cause because it's a good thing to do. Maybe I'm being naive, but I hope not.