A project to re-design mountain bike trails at Margam Country Park funded by a nearby renewable energy biomass plant has been a huge success.
Earlier this year, Neath Port Talbot Council allocated funding for the project to the Margam Mountain Bike Club from the Margam Green Energy Community Benefit Fund.
Money for the fund comes from Glennmont Partners, one of Europe’s largest and best-known renewable energy fund managers and who are the owners of the biomass plant at Harbour Way, Margam.
Fuelled by waste wood, the Margam Green Energy plant provides renewable energy for up to 75,000 homes and employs 30 people onsite.
Using the money, the Mountain Bike Club worked with trail design specialists Back on Track on the project to transform the existing competition grade cycle tracks at Margam Country Park into downgraded ‘red’, ‘black’ and ‘blue’ trails.
The project was led by the Physical Activity and Sports Service team based at the park who also physically built the trail in partnership with Margam Park staff.
The trails are now accessible to the novice mountain biker but they still provide a challenge for those with a bit more confidence.
The project has been a huge success and since the reopening of the park, the club has witnessed a huge upsurge in membership and ad hoc usage.
Cllr Peter Rees, Neath Port Talbot Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Culture, said: “This is a fantastic example of the council working with our renewable energy partners to produce benefits the community can enjoy.
“These new trails give much wider access to mountain biking which is not only good for people’s health but which also attracts more visitors to our flagship Margam Country Park.”
Murray Paterson, UK Biomass Manager for Glennmont Partners said: “Supporting this type of project is precisely what our Community Benefit Fund for Margam is about – supporting local community groups and organisations. Given the easing of lockdown restrictions, we hope people of all ages make full use of the bike trails and explore the beauty of Margam Country Park.”