Clark and Kent Contractors were entrusted with the task of designing and constructing the Kings Cliffe Active Pump Track, a state-of-the-art outdoor recreational facility at the locally run sports complex in the Northamptonshire village.
The pump track project aimed to provide the community with an engaging and active space for people of all ages to enjoy cycling, skating, and other wheeled sports such as skateboarding and rollerbladinhg. The challenge was to create a visually appealing, functional, and safe pump track that blended seamlessly with its natural surroundings.
Among the primary objectives in designing and building the pump track at the KC Active sports complex were:
Safety: To ensure the track design complied with all safety standards and guidelines.
Community Engagement: To encourage participation in active outdoor sports.
Aesthetic Integration: to harmonise with the natural environment and the landscape.
Versatility: To construct a facility suitable for a wide range of wheeled sports.
Sustainability: To use eco-friendly construction materials and practices.
The project began with a comprehensive site assessment to understand the topography, soil composition, and environmental considerations. This information guided the design process. The design team at Clark and Kent Contractors worked closely with landscape architects and local authorities to develop a concept that combined natural aesthetics with functional elements. The pump track was envisioned as an organic extension of the landscape.
Stringent safety standards were adhered to during the design and construction phases. Proper grading, drainage, and surfacing materials were selected to ensure user safety. Sustainable materials were used whenever possible. The track's surface was made from an all-weather grade tarmac to provide excellent grip and durability. Additionally, the project incorporated local materials for all structures and surfacing. Skilled construction teams executed the plan, carefully sculpting the pump track to create an engaging and challenging course. The project was completed on schedule in August 2023.
The pump track offers multiple options catering to different skill levels, ensuring that both beginners and experienced riders can enjoy the facility. Native vegetation was preserved and location was key in integrating the track design into the area, allowing the facility to blend seamlessly with its natural surroundings. Working the design around the existing youth shelters meant that shaded areas were strategically placed around the pump track, creating a comfortable space for spectators and visitors. A RoSPA post-installation certificate of the track and clear signage and guidelines promote safe usage of the facility. Regular events and workshops are organized to encourage community engagement and participation in wheeled sports.
KC Active is a sports and recreation complex on a 12-acre site in the Northamptonshire village of Kings Cliffe. It has two full-sized grass football pitches, a floodlit 3G all-weather multi-use games area, floodlit tennis and netball courts, play areas, a pavilion with changing facilities, plus a function room with kitchen and bathroom facilities. KC Active is a charity funded solely by grants and income for hiring the facilities.
The pump track project was pitched to KC Active by a group of local mums who helped to generate a huge amount of interest and push the fundraising. Gants were received from various organisations, including Sport England Places & Spaces and from British Cycling Places to Ride, with more cash raised from a crowdfunding campaign. Olympic BMX bronze medal winner Declan Brooks was at the opening of the pump track to cut the ribbon and do the first official ride.
The Kings Cliffe Active Pump Track stands as a testament to the successful collaboration between designers and users to create an innovative recreational facility that not only provides a safe and enjoyable space for the local community but also harmonises with the natural landscape. You can see images of the pump track in use here.
Location: Kings Cliffe Sports Centre, Station Rd, King's Cliffe, Peterborough PE8 6YH