Cannock Chase Forest has been selected as a venue for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games which has created the opportunity for Forestry England to secure funding for mountain biking facilities to help make this visitor destination a cycling ‘centre of excellence’ for the West Midlands.
The £900,000 funding has been secured from partners including Sport England, British Cycling and local councils.
A new trail is being built aimed at intermediate-level cyclists which will be used in part for the Games but will also remain as a legacy for visitors to Cannock Chase Forest to enjoy for years to come.
The money will also enable the development of a ‘bike play trail’ aimed at inspiring the next generation of cross-country mountain bikers. This is being designed in partnership with British Cycling.
Cannock Chase Forest centre manager, Gary Kelsey, said: “We started planning this trail in 2015, carefully locating it to avoid sensitive wildlife and maximise trail flow; I am so excited that The Games has been the catalyst to make this happen.”
John Crabtree, chairman of Birmingham 2022, said: “Cannock Chase Forest will be a stunning setting for the mountain bike events at the Commonwealth Games and using this venue ensures that world-class cycling will be staged in the region in the summer of 2022.
“We’re incredibly excited about the development of the new trail; a planned project that has been accelerated thanks to the Games.
“Not only will it provide an even more impressive facility to showcase the mountain bike events in August 2022, but its creation will also ensure local cyclists will have access to these enhanced facilities for years to come, delivering the perfect legacy from the Games.”