If all goes to plan, Gethin near Merthyr Tydfil in South Wales will shortly see the UK’s first commercially operated gravity bikepark. It’s been two years in the making, but the concept and business plan has been worked on by Rowan Sorrell and the Back on Track trail team plus a select syndicate of professionals from within the bike industry and beyond.
The big question is whether there’s going to be a lift or not – the team are playing their cards close to their chests on that one, but there seems to be the possibility floating about…
Regardless, the team are aiming to bring their expertise riding, racing and trail building around the world to bear by creating a world-class venue suitable for everyone from beginners to downhill racers.
The project is backed by Forestry Commission Wales and Merthyr County Council and The Bike Park Wales team includes members who have worked at the renowned Whistler bike park, project managers, marketing experts, surveyors, brand managers and accountants.
The team are now in discussions with development partners to finalise the bid. The final bidding process is approaching, with all interested parties entering a tender process to decide the eventual developer and operator of the site.
The successful bidder will be awarded the contract by the end of 2011 with the project completion and park opening date of December 2013.
If this is a facility that you would use, you can show your support for this huge new development and step forward for UK mountain biking by signing up to the official facebook page of Bikepark Wales, where you can leave your comments on this exciting new project. Join here: www.facebook.com/Bikepark-Wales/
Clearly whatever the outcome of this process, gravity assisted mountain biking in the UK is set to get a whole lot better over the coming years…
Pics by Andy Lloyd
EDIT: The Bikepark Wales team have just released this to clear up any misunderstanding…
“We have been overwhelmed by the positive response for this project and for our intended bid, thank you. But due to a number of people both with business and personal interest contacting us asking when we are likely to begin work on this project, we must clarify the current position.
As part of the development of mountain bike trails in south Wales, Forestry Commission Wales are about to advertise a business opportunity to develop a commercial bike park at Gethin woods, Merthyr Tydfil. We have not been appointed or entered into any negotiations with FCW.
The Bikepark Wales team have been investigating the feasibility and preparing a business model to create a Bikepark somewhere in Wales for over 2 years. Therefore we are delighted that this opportunity has arisen where we may be able to realise our ambitions. Our team will be working hard over the summer to submit an exciting bid for this development as it will be a great opportunity for mountain biking in the UK.
We understand that the successful bidder from the tender process will be awarded the contract by the end of 2011 with the project completion and park opening date of December 2013.”