£80,000 investment gets BMX riders back on track in Sunderland
A BMX track is gearing up to welcome riders back after being given a new lease of life.
Sunderland City Council has spent £80,000 on improving the surface and refining the layout of the track at Hetton Lyons Country Park as part of its drive to encourage more people to be active.
The investment is in response to the council’s Let's Talk Keeping Hetton Active consultation in 2021 which asked local people what would help them to be more active.
Cllr Linda Williams, the council’s cabinet member for vibrant city, said: "We're delighted to have been able to bring the BMX track back into use. We're hoping that its new improved surface will attract users of all ages and help make it a year round attraction.
"This is very much about delivering on the things residents have told us would help them to be more active. There's real resurgence in interest in cycling at the moment and improvements to cycling facilities was one of the things residents said they would like to see."
She added: "We hope this investment will help more people enjoy all of the physical and mental health benefits that come with being active by taking advantage of what's on their doorstep.
"It also fits really well with the council's ‘Swim Bike Run’ programme, which is all about inspiring residents to become more physically active.”
John Pooley, supervisor at Springboard Adventure – which offers a range of activities at Hetton Lyons Country Park – said: "The refurbished BMX track is a welcome improvement and people are commenting already about how they are enjoying it.
“The park already has some wonderful facilities and we are confident that this improvement will help more people enjoy their visit and importantly be active."
In response to other suggestions put forward by residents, the council has also invested £15,000 in e-bikes for people with disabilities at Hetton Lyons Country Park, and £46,000 on outdoor gym equipment for use by visitors to the new Elemore Country Park.
The new equipment has been funded by developers' contributions – which councils receive towards the cost of improving community facilities, as a condition of planning permission when new developments are built in an area.