Local community set to benefit from Hadleigh Farm venue
Located in the shadow of the 700-year-old Hadleigh Castle and overlooking the Thames Estuary, Essex’s Hadleigh Farm will provide a stunning backdrop for the Olympic mountain bike events this summer, which are sure to be among the most thrilling spectacles of the London 2012 Games.
The venue is expected to host around 20,000 spectators per day during the Games and the landscape and topography of the area is set to provide an ideal location for mountain biking, with the course designers making the most of the elevation changes, developing what promises to be a relentless and gruelling ride for competitors and a real thrill for spectators.
The Hadleigh Legacy Project
Once the Games have finished, the site is set to benefit the local community thanks to the Hadleigh Legacy Project, which aims to make the most of the heritage of Hadleigh Farm and the unique legacy provided by the creation of the Olympic mountain bike course.
The course itself will be retained and adapted for use by the public, while plans have also been made to improve the wider network of trails and paths in the area for a range of different users, such as walkers, cyclists, runners and horse riders. Projects to protect and enhance the natural and historic environment and improve the visitor facilities in the area are also in place thanks to the collaboration of Essex County Council and the Salvation Army.
Creating a lasting legacy for the county of Essex
“Essex County Council and our partner, The Salvation Army are committed to making the most of the opportunity of hosting the London 2012 mountain bike event and creating a lasting legacy not just for Hadleigh but for the county of Essex,” said Essex County Councillor Stephen Castle when the plans were announced.
“Since the launch of our consultation around Hadleigh Farm back in September 2011, we have been delighted with the response and support from residents and the plans released today are testament to their continued support and vision for Hadleigh Farm and Country Park to deliver a range of social, economic and environmental benefits for the people of Essex.”
Major John Warner, of The Salvation Army, added: “The Salvation Army, in partnership with Essex County Council, has always been committed to providing a lasting and beneficial legacy from the London 2012 mountain bike events at Hadleigh Farm for the local community and the people we support here. We are delighted that these plans enable The Salvation Army to build on our 120-year vision for this site. We will be able to provide unparalleled opportunities for even more vulnerable and disadvantaged people to reach their full potential through life skills and employment training by working closely with the natural environment and the local community.”