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Smooth approach at Hillingdon

New road surface and building

Riders entering the gates of Hillingdon Circuit will be surprised to find a
billiard table smooth tarmac surface has been laid over the extremely poor track
they have had to put up with for the past nine years.

This is
the final stage of a near £200,000 project at the heavily used circuit
to provide a new storage building, resurfacing the roadway, new entrance sign
and some refurbishing of the administration and changing huts.

The project has been financed mainly by a Sport England Lottery Grant supplemented
by £20,000 from the London Marathon Charity Trust and negotiated by the
Hillingdon Cycle Circuit Users Group (HCCUG) which organises the cycle circuit
bookings and activities on behalf of the LB Hillingdon, which runs Minet Country
Park.
 
It is not any old storage building, but one specifically designed by Acanthus
Architects with the personal involvement of circuit users cyclist Andrew Postings
(Archer RC) and Nordic skier Christopher Richards, who was also the project
manager. This sustainable design conforms to the building’s setting in
the Green Belt area of Minet Country Park. It replaces four unsightly steel
containers that were only allowed by LB Hillingdon council to remain on the
basis that an acceptable building was to be built.

New building

In fact the building still consists of four steel containers, but becomes aesthetically
acceptable through being timber clad with reclaimed railways sleepers and it
has a ‘living roof’ of wild plants. A pull out canopy will allow a
trackside administration area, while the new roadway allows extra skills training
space for younger Slipstreamers.
 
The containers are used for storage of equipment and a workshop for the hugely
successful Saturday morning Hillingdon Slipstreamers children’s club which now
regularly has an attendance of 60 to 80 under 16 year olds, down even to one
or two three year olds who are taught not to use stabilisers from day one.
 
Other containers store race and coaching equipment for the equally successful
all age race meetings held throughout the year, but particularly from April
to October, plus maintenance equipment that includes a tractor mower and trailer
owned by the user group. Almost 200 sessions for events are booked each year,
very often two per day on Saturdays.
 
HCCUG chairman, Stuart Benstead, says: “At last the appearance of the circuit
has been changed to one befitting a local sports facility that nevertheless
has helped produce Olympic Gold, Silver and Bronze medallist Bradley Wiggins
when it utilised the then unopened Hayes By-Pass.  We are proud to have
Bradley’s photo at the entrance to the circuit which we hope will inspire
new generations of Olympic and World Champions or, at the other end of the scale,
perhaps to just achieve a better quality of life through keeping fit and healthy
through cycling.”

New sign

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