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Construction of a £10million velodrome and park which is expected to attract 100,000 cyclists has moved a step closer after the contract to build the facility was awarded.

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Cyclopark, next to the A2 between Dartford and Gravesend, will be built by VolkerFitzpatrick, one of the largest civil engineering contractors in the south-east after out-bidding four other applicants.

Work expected to last 10 months is to start in January, following the launch of the scheme by cyclist and BMX champion Jamie Staff MBE, who won gold in the team sprint at the Beijing Olympics 2008.

He hopes to launch an on-site Jamie Staff Academy to disocver future champions.

British Cycling’s chief executive officer Ian Drake said: “The plans for the Cyclopark venue look fantastic. It is a perfect example of the continued efforts we are making, together with Sport England, to create excellent modern cycling facilities across the UK.

“The new velopark here will offer people of all ages and abilities an opportunity to enjoy cycling in a safe, controlled and traffic free environment, supporting the growth of our sport at the grassroots and helping us develop future cycling stars.”

Working in partnership with Kent County Council (KCC) and designers Jacobs, the facility will bring first-class running, cycling and extreme sports facilities to north Kent.

KCC is leading on the park’s development and has secured more than £7million and with total costs for the full scheme estimated at £9.7million additional funding from Sport England, the Colyer-Fergusson Trust, British Cycling and the Homes and Communities Agency is expected.

David Brazier, Kent County Council deputy cabinet member for environment, highways and waste and the council’s member cycling champion, said: “I’m delighted to be able to say that the construction of Cyclopark will soon be underway and even happier to announce VolkerFitzpatrick as contractor. They have a long and successful history with particular reference to similar projects in the south-east.”

Diyal Nonis, contracts manager for VolkerFitzpatrick, added: “This is a really exciting project not only for Kent, but also for the south-east of England.”

Land for the scheme was secured when the A2 was moved last year.

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