Gethin Woods in South Wales will be developed into a ‘gravity bikepark’ after the area was selected by Merthyr County Council and the Forestry Commission of Wales.
According to engineering consultancy Hyder Consulting, the setup will include a “[visitor] centre, a range of downhill tracks and an uplift service. Additionally, there’s an opportunity to develop a cross-country trail, jump park and other facilities”.
Discussions are taking place to find a suitable developer and operator, and interested parties will soon enter a bidding process which will decide who takes on the contract. A decision will be made by the end of the year, with the park pencilled in to open in December 2013.
One of the groups hoping to build and run the park is Bike Park Wales, made up of Welsh downhill racer Rowan Sorrell’s Back on Track trailbuilding crew and a host of professionals from the industry. They’ve been working on plans for the site for two years and hope to create a venue where the novice rider will feel as comfortable as a World Cup racer, with the ultimate vision of creating “the world’s premier mountain bike uplift facility in the valleys of South Wales”.
The Gethin Woods project is part of a £5 million investment in mountain biking in South Wales. Improvements in facilities, new trails and skills areas will also take place at Afan Forest Park and Cwmcarn. For more information on the Gethin project, visit Bike Park Wales’s Facebook page.