YOUNG cyclists in Liss have been jumping for joy as the UK’s first modular pump track has been opened in their village.
Damian Hinds MP got on his bike last Friday after cutting the ribbon to the £108,000 facility at West Liss recreation ground.
Users are promised a “smooth ride” on the “robust and resilient” steel and fibreglass track designed and built by Dirt Factory.
The model is the first of its kind in the UK and replaces a temporary track brought in by Liss Parish Council to mark the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations.
Mr Hinds congratulated the council and all the other funding partners for their work before cutting the ribbon alongside LPC chairman Keith Budden, vice-chairman Nick Wilson and joint villager of the year Tom Collard.
He said: “It’s a wonderful facility and I know it’s been some years in the coming together.
“A lot of people have given their opinion that they wanted to have this great facility and it’s great to see these kids using it today.”
It was a hit well before the big launch with Mr Budden calling the track a “fantastic place for the whole community”.
He added: “This project has been really hard work for a number of years but it’s great to see so many young people out here using it.”
Developer contributions have funded half the project with the remainder coming from The National Lottery Community Fund.
“This is the first track of this kind we’ve funded,” said Miaya Dangol FC, funding officer, adding: “I’m not into cycling or biking myself but I’m feeling inspired to take it up.”
The official opening was the highlight of a fun-filled morning in which the Liss Men’s Shed raffled off two BMX bikes. Visitors could also admire their handiwork as four benches at the site were constructed by their members in just two weeks.
Visitors could also get coffee and ice cream while volunteers and staff from the nearby Crossover Youth Centre used the event to spread the word and admire the new addition.
“The pump track will offer a much-needed, free-to-use facility for all ages, especially for the young people of Liss,” said Sean Quinn.