Plans for a mountain bike and activity park at the site of the former Entry Hill golf course site in Bath will not proceed, Bath & North-East Somerset Council has announced today (December 1).
A 20% increase in supply costs alongside additional site costs have impacted on the viability of the proposal which means the Bath Bike Park project cannot progress.
The council had planned to fund the project through a combination of its own capital funding and by attracting external support, however a bid to the British Cycling Places to Ride Fund was unsuccessful and due to the current national economic climate, it has become increasingly difficult to attract funding for projects of this nature.
Progressing the project further now would require substantial further borrowing at a time of unprecedented financial challenges for all local authorities, which the council will not do.
Councillor Mark Roper, cabinet member for Economic Development, Regeneration and Growth, said:
The council’s intention for this project was to fund it through capital and a mix of external funding as is common for these types of schemes, however as costs have risen and external funding has proved difficult to attract, the council has made the decision not to progress the planning application.
The site will remain as it is for the short term. Valuable work has been undertaken on ecology, ground condition and heritage value which will inform the council on its future sustainable use. Mindful of both the climate and ecological emergencies a range of outdoor leisure activities including walking, running and adventurous play, as well as a Forest School, remain possible.
The council will pause work on any schemes for the site until later in 2023/4 when economic conditions and financing will hopefully become clearer. Any further proposals for the Entry Hill site will be developed in consultation with users and residents.
Bristol-based company Pedal Progression had been appointed by the council in an open procurement exercise to create the Bath Bike Park.
Pedal Progression founder Matt George said:
This project has been close to our hearts for nearly four years, and a dream for much longer.
We are disappointed that it’s not been possible to deliver what would have been an incredible recreational asset for the people of Bath and North East Somerset but we understand the reasons behind the decision that has been taken.
Thank you to those who showed such incredible support and enthusiasm for the project over the last few years and we look forward to working with the council on projects in the future.