Future Plans

PUMP TRACK   

Due to be opened Summer 2020.

It’s the biggest thing to happen in Chopwell for many years!! Friends of Chopwell Park have done a fantastic job in making this dream come true!

A pump track is a cycling circuit, with rollers, banked turns and features designed to be ridden completely by riders “pumping”— generating momentum by up and down body movements, instead of pedalling or pushing. Ours is going to be built by Velosolutions, who make the tracks for the Pump Track World Championships. Visit their website at www.velosolutions.com for some amazing videos!

It will be in Chopwell Park and will have two loops: a symmetrical loop on which 2 people can race head-to-head (both starting in the centre) and a smaller one (on the left of the diagram below) is for beginners and small children – including toddlers on

balance bikes!

Access will be open to anyone with a bike, skateboard or scooter (or even rollerblades!). Friends of Chopwell Park have said “We want as many people as

possible to enjoy the pump track and will involve schools, youth groups and cycling clubs. Our pump track will also be up to national competition standard and will attract cycling enthusiasts from far and wide”.

Construction had started before lockdown, and they are about half way through the build. As soon as its safe to do so work will recommence and it should be finished by summer.

A HUGE thank you to Mandi and the Friends of Chopwell Park for making this happen.

The bank – chopwell’s office, art & craft space   

What’s happened so far?

The Council bought the empty building and are offering to lease it to the Regeneration Group (on behalf of the village) for a ‘peppercorn’ rent, as long as the building is brought into community use. We will have to raise around £200,000 ourselves to refurbish the building. 

How will the building be used?

Downstairs… The ground floor is perfect for community activity and there will be disabled access to all parts of the downstairs. The big open area through the front door is ideal for meetings or as a place for residents and visitors to enjoy a cup of coffee or look at some of the displays on show. These might include a heritage display, art / craft works for sale, tourist information, particularly for cyclists (linking with the pump track), indoor cycle storage at the cafe and information about local events. 

Activities on offer will be co-ordinated with whatever is happening at the Community Centre. We are all part of the Chopwell and Blackhall Mill Partnership, and work together. The Bank may be able to provide a venue for things that can’t be fitted in at the Community Centre, or an opportunity for new activities that we’ve never had in Chopwell.

Upstairs… The first and second floors will provide office space to rent at reasonable rates, for small or start-up businesses, or studio space for artists or crafts people. Eight rooms will be available, all with wifi access. One of the rooms on the first floor could be suitable for a number of ‘hot-desking’ stations at an hourly or daily rate. The money raised upstairs and downstairs will fund the running of the building and activities there, and in the longer term we would hope to be able to offer some part time employment for local people. 

The Coffee Shop… There will be a good-sized kitchen, so we could offer evening meals on certain nights, with a coffee shop feel in the daytime a few days a week. We are committed to supporting and working with existing businesses in the village, and some preliminary discussions have already taken place.

What’s next?... We’re planning an Open Day to be held before any of the work is started, so that anyone who is interested can have a look around and see how the ideas that have been put forward so far might work. Provided we can raise the money we will use local businesses to carry out the work where possible, but to make sure everything is fair we do have a Procurement Policy and tendering will be competitive. There will also be more information at the next Regeneration Group meeting which is on Sun March 15th at 7.00pm at the Methodist Chapel, South Road. Please do come along and find out more about this and other projects we are working on. 

How will we raise the money? 

We’ve written a Business Plan and are receiving support with this via the Plunkett Foundation. We will raise the money through a combination of grant applications and fundraising activities. If anyone can recommend good sources of funding, or is willing to organise fundraising events please do get in touch with us at 

team@chopwell.org. We will need lots of help if we’re going to be successful!

Wouldn’t it be brilliant for the village if WE could make this happen.