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Bangor Cycle Park

You may have heard about PEACEPLUS funding applications currently being evaluated by our Council. Previous recipients of PEACEPLUS funding include Holywood and Portaferry. Bangor has never received such funding and in the context of its recent City status is overdue an award.

Bangor Cycle Park (BCP) will create five new free-to-use cycling facilities within the underutilised areas of the Sportsplex site in Bangor: a pump-track, a BMX Racing track, an Inclusive-Cycling Area, a Learn-To-Ride Area, and a Cross-Country mountain bike trail. Each facility appeals to a different section of the community, all coming together in a community café/ bicycle workshop. BCP genuinely offers something for everyone, regardless of age, gender, ability or preferred type of cycling, thereby meeting one of the PEACEPLUS main qualifying criteria, promoting cross-community and cross-border relations.

Its range of cycling facilities on a single site would be unrivalled in the UK and Ireland - perhaps it could produce the next Sean Kelly (Grand Tour and Monument winning road cyclist) or Kelvin Batey (multiple BMX national and UCI World Championship winner)?

The fact that the decision-making process has taken much longer than expected by PEACEPLUS seems to suggest that possibly some Ards and North Down Councillors do not share our vision that BCP would be the perfect complement to the new Bangor Waterfront, the green Marine Gardens, the gleaming revitalised Queen's Parade and a reimagined Flagship Centre. Bangor Cycle Park could become as much a visitor draw to Bangor as Royal Portrush Golf Course is to that town.


Do those councillors not see BCP's potential to introduce new generations to the joy of cycling, getting people out of their cars and onto bicycles or e-bikes, depending on their age and fitness? Our world is changing, and not for the better: climate change is real while politicians dither. To meet our ambitious Net Zero goals every one of us needs to make a contribution. The easiest way to do this is to make short local journeys by bicycle instead of using one's car. The NHS is facing an obesity crisis and cycling is a great way to lose some weight and get fit. Let's get people on their bikes!


We hope this page will convince the reader that this project is worthy of PEACEPLUS funding. If you agree, write to your local councillors and insist that BCP is awarded funding. You can find their contact details here. If you live outside of Ards and North Down please write to Mayor Jennifer Gilmour and ask that she shares your request with her fellow councillors so they all realise that there is considerable support for BCP from outside the borough.


You could also remind your local politicians that there will be a general election soon and ask how their parties' manifestos deal with Climate Change, Active Travel and Public Health. All these global issues have to grow from the local level to have any chance of succeeding.


The existing derelict Astro turf pitch will be reinvigorated as a Learn-to-Ride Area (the first one in the UK to be full-sized rather than scaled down) and used to get riders of all ages ready to ride on the road, providing them with a life skill they will never forget. Primary school children will be able to avail of regular training here. Such training facilities are very popular in the rest of the UK and in Europe as they contribute to sustainability as well as public health targets.

Next to the existing playground will be an Asphalt Pump Track. Such a track is easy to ride and great fun. Its progressive features accommodate all abilities and ages, making it an ideal stepping stone for cyclists seeking to hone their skills before progressing to the Park's more adventurous facilities.

Pump Track
Inclusive Cycling Area

The existing athletic track will multi-task: when not used for existing athletics activities the new Inclusive Cycling Area will provide a safe space for people of all ages and abilities to ride their bikes. As it is already being used for this purpose, only minor work is required to formalise and improve this facility.

Inside the athletic track a "national standard" BMX Racing Track will be used for training and competitions. BMX is an Olympic and Commonwealth Sport suitable for anyone between the ages of 5 and 50.

Cycling Ireland have expressed support for the facility and would be staging regular cross-border competitions here, providing a considerable boost to the local hospitality sector.

BMX Track
Mountain Bike Trail

The existing 1,500m trail around the perimeter of Sportsplex will be modified into a Cross-Country Trail for mountain bikers, cyclo-crossers and gravel grinders. Its features will make it interesting for all ages and abilities. It could even be used for competitions. As the trail will be using an existing path, natural habitats will not be affected.

The Community Bike Workshop and Café will be housed either within the existing Sportsplex building or perhaps in a repurposed Project24 container. We envisage the workshop and cafe will become a hub for cycling-based activity in the Borough. Cycle clubs will meet there regularly and coaches will use it as a conduit to connect with potential students via the notice board. This will make it simple for people new to cycling to find ride buddies and to connect with coaches to develop their skills, whatever their preferred cycling discipline.

Workshop & Cafe


Answers to the most commonly asked questions about Bangor Cycle Park:


BCP is the result of the collaboration of a number of individuals and groups sharing a common vision of promoting cycling as a life style choice that improves one's health while making positive contributions to cross-community relations and climate change targets.


BCP is the result of community coming together to realise a common vision: Jon Lack (aka Jon the Pedaler) had the initial vision and got the ball rolling. As word got around the project quickly garnered support from various and diverse groups inside and outside our borough. The application as it stands today is the result of those groups coming together and sharing ideas. The Ards and North Down Cycle Campaign Group assisted Jon during the application stage and offered to publicise the project on our website.

Notable BCP supporters include

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Cycling Ireland and Cycling Ulster, both of whom will use the BMX Track, Pump Track and Cross-country Trail for weekly training sessions and will have office-staff based there for member enquiries/assistance.



Sustrans will use the facility to deliver their “Bikeability” and “Ditch the Stabilisers” courses.


The Cedar Foundation and Disability Sport NI would use the facility to provide exercise for people with disabilities, autism and brain injury and to be fully included in their communities.


The Police Service of Northern Ireland and St John’s Ambulance will train and have their fleets of bikes serviced there.


Sport Northern Ireland has expressed its "support for a cycle park in
Bangor for use by the public and by local cycling clubs in the area.  Cycling, and BMX particularly, lends itself to attracting young people who may not take part in traditional mainstream sport. It is therefore an important sport and discipline to support as not only is it accessible to all, but should any barriers exist in terms of equipment to take part, the club in support of Bangor Cycle Park now has this available to assist."


Ards and North Down Borough Council's Leisure Services officers are fully supportive of BCP as the project aligns with numerous Council strategies including the Community Plan, the Roadmap to Sustainability, the Play Strategy and of course the Council's commitment, to be a "Cycle-Friendly Borough".


Serco would be involved in the management of the site.

A large number of local schools are very keen to use the site's Learn-to-Ride area for Cycling Proficiency coaching and training:

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Bangor Central Integrated Primary School


Castle Gardens Primary School

Clifton School and Croft Community Centre will use the Accessible Cycling area for weekly all-ability cycling.

Kilcooley Primary School


Kilmaine Primary School


Millisle Primary School


Rockport School


St Malachy's Primary School


West Winds Primary School


There is also a range of other civic organisations who strongly support BCP:

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Ards & North Down Cycle Campaign Group (300 members) would use BCP for regular group meetings and a starting point for rides.

Bangor Repair Café are keen to be involved in the workshop and provide tuition on bicycle maintenance.


Access Sport

Active Youth NI plan to use the facilities to deliver cycle camps to their membership.


Active Women NI


Belfast City BMX Club


Boatfolk / Bangor Marina




Female Sports Forum


Ladies Who Shred


Thunder Action Sports


That is a good question which we cannot answer precisely. The decision-making process to decide the funding first was delayed before Christmas, then applicants were required to resubmit their applications. The applications were considered in late February. We remain hopeful that a final decision will be made by late summer, perhaps by August.

If you feel that Bangor Cycle Park deserves PEACEPLUS funding, please contact your local councillors (preferably all from your electoral area, not just one) and ask them to support BCP.

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