BRITISH Cycling will this week meet with Bradford Council to discuss the development of a top-class replacement cycle track to replace one that will close next year.

Earlier this year a campaign was launched to make sure Bradford retained a cycle track once the Richard Dunn Sports Centre shuts next year.

The purpose-built track at the centre has been used by a number of high-profile cyclists over the years, and those who use it feared Bradford’s cycling legacy would be lost when the site shuts. But now it has been revealed that the facility could be replaced with a new track at a proposed “sports village” planned a few miles away from the centre.

Wyke Sports Village is a major development of sports facilities that has been planned for the former site of Wyke Manor School for several years. This week council representatives will meet with British Cycling and members of the cycling clubs that use the Richard Dunn track to see how that facility can be replicated in the new development.

It is hoped that the centre, along with two new leisure centres, could give Bradford the best sports facilities for “miles around”.

The council is now bidding for funding for the sports village, which will also include indoor sporting facilities, the cycle track and sports pitches.

Mandy Parker, from the East Bradford Cycling Club – one of the groups that uses Richard Dunn cycle track – will be attending the meeting between British Cycling and the council. She said it was hoped that funding received from Bradford hosting the 2019 UCI Road World Cycling Championships could help fund the new track.

“At Wyke we would be able to bring in an off-road track, maybe create facilities for disabled groups,” she said.

“We need to show it will be a facility the whole community will use. It is a fabulous site, just off Huddersfield Road – it isn’t far for people to come just off the M606. It will bring in not only people from the local area, but from all over. It would be fantastic for Bradford.”

Councillors on the Environment Scrutiny Committee were also given an update on other sports facilities planned for Bradford at their latest meeting.

Bradford Council plans to build a new leisure centre in the Squire Lane area of Toller – part of the £28 million shake-up of leisure facilities in the district.

Andy Ross, project manager for the leisure schemes, revealed that the council is in talks with the NHS to possibly expand the plan, turning the Squire Lane development into a health hub.

He told members of the committee: “We are talking with a number of other partner organisations, including the NHS. It would be a wasted opportunity if we just built a leisure centre there. There is so much more we could do with the space. We could co-locate services, make it a one-stop-shop for health.

“There are consultations going on at chief executive level, they are ongoing at the moment.”

Asked to elaborate, he said: “It could be the case that the hospital wants to put its diabetes service in there. This has worked in other locations, like Graves Leisure Centre in Sheffield.”

Councillors were also given an update on the Sedbergh Leisure Centre – the facility in Odsal currently being built to replace Richard Dunn and due to open in September 2019.


Councillor Sarah Ferriby said: “We are already seeing interest from residents who haven’t been able to access Richard Dunn, which is quite isolated unless you have a car.

“A lot of people I have spoken to have been clamouring for this new centre to open. I’m talking about people of all ages, but particularly more mature residents who are planning what they will be able to do once it opens.”

Councillor Ralph Berry (Lab, Wibsey) pointed out that while many had lamented the upcoming closure of Richard Dunn’s child-friendly pool and water slides “these facilities just don’t meet the requirement of any competitive swimming group”. “A lot of competitive swimmers are going to the pool in Spenborough. These facilities will hopefully change that,” he said. “If all these plans come off then people will be coming into Bradford from across the area because our sports facilities will be better than for miles around.”