Fort William Bike Park opened to the public on the eve (Wednesday 2 August 2023) of the UCI Cycling World Championships starting at Nevis Range, Fort William.
Lochaber Area Committee Chair, Cllr Kate Willis said:
“The opening JAM was a major success and a great community celebration with real enthusiasm for the future of the Bike Track.
“The facilities are world class and the children and adults trying out the track for the first time had smiles all round.
“I would like to thank and congratulate all those involved in making the bike park a reality.
“Having some of the professional riders that were due to compete at the Downhill Mountain Biking World Championships attend, really lifted the event, adding to the excitement and I’m sure will have inspired the participants.”
Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland, Development Co-ordinator, Ruari Watt said:
“The opening event was amazing, genuinely such an incredible event– people seemed so excited and proud of achieving a community led facility to this standard.
“The best is yet to come; the opening event was a celebration but the real benefits of creating a space for biking enthusiasts to enjoy and perfect skills is really exciting.”
The pump track located next to Lochaber High School has cost approx. £500K and was designed and built by pump track specialists Velosolutions to ensure an exciting, challenging and safe track for all riders.
Once works are fully completed the park will include a 265m championship pump track, a Skate/BMX park and an 85m adaptive pump track for individuals of all abilities.
£2K of funding from the Lochaber Area ward discretionary budget has been used to purchase bikes for loan at the bike track, to help reduce barriers to participation and support user groups, including children’s services and active schools.
Fort William Bike Track has been funded by The Highland Council, Sport Scotland, HIE and many other public fundraising efforts that local charity Lochaber Wheeled Sports Society has been instrumental in making a reality.
Cllr Willis added:
“For Fort William to host part of the biggest cycling championships ever is testament to the calibre of downhill biking facilities on offer and whilst the logistics can make travel/commuting via Fort William and the surrounding area challenging, the privilege and opportunity for people to experience world class riding on our doorstep is one to embrace.
“The planning and mitigation for such an event takes a great deal of careful planning and I’d like to thank the public for their patience and understanding.”