Cycle hub and education centre for Weston-super-Mare seafront backed by North Somerset Council

Weston Promenade. Picture: Stephen Butt

Weston Promenade. Picture: Stephen Butt - Credit: Archant

A cycle hub and activity centre could be built on Weston’s seafront after Government funding was secured.

Cllr Elfan Ap Rees

Cllr Elfan Ap Rees - Credit: Archant

The centre would provide information and activities for naturalists, walkers, cyclists and school pupils.

North Somerset Council’s executive members backed the scheme on Tuesday afternoon after receiving confirmation that the Department for Transport will provide £1.254million towards sustainable transport initiatives, which include the seafront hub.

It will be built, subject to planning permission, at the southern end of the promenade. The council hopes it will complement the new Brean Down Way walking and cycle route, which will open on July 7.

The council says the centre would provide ‘an activity, ecology and education facility for families, schools, walkers, cyclists, kite surfers and windsurfers’.

Deputy council leader Elfan Ap Rees says the centre would be a facility which benefits people living in and around Weston, as well as visitors to North Somerset.

Cllr Ap Rees said: “The centre plans to provide a base for a state-of-the-art digital bicycle hire facility, bicycle maintenance service, a café and facilities catering for other extreme sports, such as tuition, lessons and rental hire, showers, pressure washers for equipment and a picnic/barbecue area.

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“This will provide a year-round destination building for local people and visitors alike, generating local jobs and apprenticeship opportunities.

“The centre will add to the regeneration of Weston and will provide interesting, fun and healthy activities for local people to try and undertake, while also bringing in tourists and providing revenue and jobs.”

The DfT’s money will enable the council to seek planning permission and draw up plans.

Once complete, there would be public consultation and funding for the building will then be sought.

The council bid for the money from the DfT last September and must use the cash to promote business, education and physical activity, while also being mindful of reducing carbon emissions.

Other initiatives planned by the council include a new car sharing app, travel plans, maps, free bus vouchers, bikes for hire and road safety education.

The council says the grant follows four years of hard work in trying to improve sustainable transport projects.