Northern Roots launches search for operator of our new Bike Hub

 

Plans for a new, state of the art Bike Hub facility at Northern Roots were unanimously approved by Oldham Council in August 2022. The Bike Hub will be integral to Northern Roots’ overall vison and mission, as we harness green space for the benefit of people, planet and place by transforming the 160-acre Northern Roots site into a destination for learning, leisure and tourism.

The Hub will provide a training ground for cyclists to develop and improve their riding, and a starting point from which to enjoy the mountain bike trails which will in future extend across the 160-acre Northern Roots site and beyond.

The facilities include a pump track and a skills area, a bike hire station with a shop and cafe, a bike repair workshop, and toilets, shower and bike wash. Riders will be able to get spares and servicing for their bike, as well as being able to get a coffee and warm food, wash their bike and get changed indoors.

These facilities will be complemented by an events and engagement programme in partnership with a range of organisations and include activities like learn to ride and improvers’ sessions, competitive cycling events, and Club and holiday club activities. Over time, existing mountain bike trails on the Northern Roots site will be restored, and new graded mountain bike trails will fan out across the site, through its woodland areas.

The Bike Hub proposal has been developed following in-depth community consultation. The facility has been designed by leading UK company Bike Track, in conjunction with JDDK Architects. Bike Track have an impressive record in building adventurous and challenging facilities, including Leeds Urban Bike Park.

Northern Roots is now looking to engage a dynamic and experienced operator to run the Bike Hub facility from summer 2023. If you’re interested in finding out more, have any questions, or want to request the full tender pack, please get in touch with us at northern.roots@oldham.gov.uk with BIKE HUB TENDER in the subject line of your email.

The closing date for tender is Sunday 27th November.  

 

Community consultation

In December 2020 Northern Roots ran an in-depth community consultation, asking local communities what they would like from a Bike Hub and Trails facility. From safe family cycling spaces, bike repair lessons and kids Enduro racing, to magically lit night routes and watching top professionals compete, there were plenty of ideas!

Please, please do something for older folk! I’m 56 and I’d love to learn to ride a bike and be safe enough to use it as my main mode of transport.

I’d like somewhere in Oldham that had specific off-road trails with some distance, but also the opportunity to try technical stuff, low to high in difficulty.

Women only, culturally-sensitive sessions to learn how to ride a bike. As a South Asian woman, I would like to learn with a group of a women in a quiet place away from public and community view.

Be great to have single rider sessions. For people like me that don’t have any riding buddies and would like to meet others.

Create supporting features and activities that encourage young riders to explore further and so get more out of using the site i.e. trailside sculptures, nature quizzes, bike powered musical sculptures.

Space and sessions for people of all abilities. Disability cycling adaptations advice.

Family trails with picnic areas. Somewhere safe to leave your bike to go and look at what else is on offer. Somewhere to charge electric bikes.

Consider coloured lighting of plants and trees, like ‘light up the forest’ or the enchanted forest, along some routes – this will promote cycling during darker months too and maintain interest all year round.

I don’t own a bike so would look at renting.

I’m mainly interested in long-distance road cycling, but I used to ride cyclo-cross, and wouldn’t mind having another go at that, if there was a Dads’ race!

Where is the Bike Hub facility located?

The Bike Hub is located on the Northern Roots site adjacent to Cherry Avenue in Alt. Additional parking facilities will be created next to the existing games court. Visitors will be encouraged to access the facility on foot, by bike, and existing transport links. 

The Northern Roots site is located ten minutes on foot from Oldham town centre, in Greater Manchester. The 160-acre site stretches from Alexandra Park in the north, past Park Bridge Heritage Centre, to Bankfield Clough in the south. It is bordered by Glodwick, Fitton Hill, Hathershaw and Alt.

Oldham-Ashton Beelines Bridge

Further developments are also underway to improve access for cyclists to the Northern Roots site.  Oldham Council have secured funding through the GM Mayor’s Bee Network programme to design a new bridge for cyclists and pedestrians, crossing the Medlock valley adjacent to Park Bridge Heritage Centre. From an initial five designs a preferred option has been chosen – a steel girder bridge that will weather in time for an industrial look that is fitting with the area. Once complete, the bridge will provide a spectacular new southern access point to the Northern Roots site, providing connectivity into Oldham and out into Greater Manchester.

Follow Northern Roots on TwitterInstagram and Facebook and if you’re out and about on your bike on the Northern Roots site, share your photos and tag us in.

In March 2020, Northern Roots held a consultation event for local cyclists and mountain bikers to find out what they would want from a purpose-built facility.
CGI of proposed Bike Hub & Trails facility at Northern Roots.
CGI of proposed Bike Hub & Trails facility at Northern Roots.
"The Northern Roots Bike Hub is a fantastic opportunity to develop a safe environment for cycling and other outdoor activities. It will attract local families and children to enjoy top class facilities and give everyone a safe place to be more active" Matt Walls, Olympic Gold Medallist
Northern Roots: 160-acres of urban green space, ten minutes from Oldham town centre.
CGI of proposed Beelines bridge, which will connect Oldham to Ashton via the southern end of the Northern Roots site.