The United Kingdom is now set to welcome its first ever indoor bike park after crowdfunding project ‘Dirt Factory’ reached and surpassed its £300,000 target in just 16 days.
Dirt Factory will open up in Manchester later this year if all goes to plan on the construction front, and will feature everything from a pump track to singletrack, dirt jumps, a kids area, a foam pit and use real dirt and grass to achieve it all.
After reaching the initial target of £300,000, the Dirt Factory team have now increased their target to £450,000 after “high demand from investors", one of whom is entrepreneur, former Dragons’ Den star and mountain bike enthusiast Piers Linney.
Piers said: "Dan and the Dirt Factory team contacted me a couple of years ago for advice on structure and how to develop their dream from a great plan into a business.
“Since then, their vision combined with unwavering persistence has really paid off as they have now raised in excess of their initial £300,000 target from over 300 private investors on the crowdfunding platform Crowdcube.
“After consultation with myself and other investors the team have taken the decision to increase the target to £450,000 to strengthen the Dirt Factory offer and to allow the more rapid development of key revenue streams.
“This is a huge success for a determined team that is tapping into the huge growth in all forms of cycling and the Dirt Factory will be a UK first and will no doubt become another regional cycling hub. As a keen mountain biker myself, having the ability to ride undercover all-year-round will be very welcome."
We caught up with Dan Makin and Mark McClure, two of the directors behind Dirt Factory, to talk all about the project recently.
“We’re never going to replace the outside," Mark happily admitted. “We don’t want to. We’re trying to provide somewhere that gets people into riding and gives them the confidence to explore the outdoor trails. Somewhere that more advanced riders can come and have a go in wind-free, dry, controlled conditions."
To say that we’re stoked on the prospect of the UK’s first indoor bike park here at Mpora is an understatement. This could be a game-changer for winter riding and not only help already keen mountain biker’s hone their skills, but encourage a whole new generation of riders to get involved in the sport.
The team at Dirt Factory are enthusiast, knowledgeable, and they know how to generate the hype that’s needed to get their project started. They've even worked on several other bike parks around the world and visited various successful bike parks in North America.
Support from the mountain biking scene has been overwhelming so far, and even the internet forums – the land of trolls – hasn’t been able to offer up much criticism. That’s when you know you’re doing something right. We can’t wait to see what that same team will do when the place gets open.
Commenting on the success of the crowdfunding project so far, Makin commented: “Over the last few days the rate that people have been investing in Dirt Factory has really increased. We’re delighted with the response from the crowd and urge others to find out more and invest before our campaign closes at the end of February."
Once the campaign is over, the team will be looking to begin construction around May and get the trails open in late 2016. If you’re keen to get involved and own a little part of Dirt Factory for yourself, investment opportunities are available from just a tenner – and you can check out the Dirt Factory Crowd Fund campaign here!