BMX rides into Manchester as new national centre opens

By James Briscoe, Senior Arts & Culture Correspondent

Dreams came true for young BMX fans as Manchester’s brand new National BMX Centre opened its doors for the first time on Saturday.

Many of the city’s budding BMX stars turned up with their racing bikes to have a go on the one-of-a-kind track.

The 110,000 square foot centre at east Manchester’s Sportcity opens to the public today and was funded by Manchester City Council, Sport England and the European Development Fund.

The centre’s BMX Development Manager Sam Foakes said: “I’m ecstatic that the centre is open.

“It’s gone down to the wire and we weren’t sure that it would be ready for today but we did it.

“It’s about developing young people in a sport which is exciting, accessible and inexpensive.”

The centre is located at the National Cycling Centre and will be bidding to host major events in the future.

The complex is dominated by the race track where both the public and Olympians like Shanaze Reade can ride.

Councillor Mike Amesbury, Manchester City Council’s executive member for culture and leisure, said: “The opening of the National BMX Centre is incredibly exciting.

“It’s no exaggeration to say that there’s nothing like it anywhere else.

“The world’s finest will train here, and young people from Manchester will get the opportunity to use the facilities and aim for the highest awards in the sport of BMX.”

Eddie Smith, Chief Executive at New East Manchester said that the new centre secures Manchester’s position as the home of British cycling.

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