A project to convert North Drive Pavilion on Great Yarmouth seafront into a cycling hub for the whole community is on a roll.

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The £73,800 scheme to repair, refurbish and fit-out the council-owned pavilion is being overseen by ActivatingCIC, a local social enterprise that specialises in cycling and wants to see more people across the borough getting on their bikes.

The CIC has agreed a lease and plans to run the hub to promote cycling and bike maintenance, among much else. Work on site started in November and is expected to be finished by the end of this month.

The conversion has been made possible by £36,833 from Norfolk County Council’s Community Construction Fund, and £36,967 from Great Yarmouth Borough Council.

Offshore firm Seajacks has donated £20,000 towards the running costs for the first two years, and Pedal Revolution bike shop in Baker Street, Gorleston, is also supporting the project.

The hub will provide a fixed location for the GY Bike Project, launched last summer under the borough council’s Comeunity Budget programme and delivered by ActivatingCIC.

This saw residents learn how to repair and maintain bicycles at free weekly workshops. More than 50 people completed the workshops and rode away on a serviceable bicycle they had refurbished themselves.

Luke Rumbelow, of ActivatingCIC, said: “It’s a really exciting time of the year for Great Yarmouth.

“ The GY Bike Project will enhance Marine Parade into a cycling haven for families, beginners and avid cyclists.

“From the response we had last year with the GY Bike Project around Great Yarmouth, we hope the local residents and community will get on board, get involved and get active.”

As well as space for tuition, cycling proficiency and biking events for all ages, there will also be a small café serving light refreshments to hub-users.

Once established, it is hoped the hub can be self-sufficient and supported through income made through spin-off activities aimed at the tourist trade. Commerical ideas being mooted include bicycle hire – including a “park and ride” for the nearby car park, rickshaws, Parkrun-style cycling events, and a cycle heritage trail.

Councillor Lee Sutton, the borough council’s lead for sport and leisure, said: “This will get people more active and improve their employment opportunities at the same time.

“And it will also ensure that one of Great Yarmouth’s prominent seafront buildings is used and maintained year-round, contributing to the range of leisure activities that are available to residents and visitors throughout the year.”

For details on volunteering roles available at the hub, visit www.revolutionevents.bike.

Are you involved in a local project? Email lauren.rogers@archant.co.uk

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