This new indoor bike park will bring family friendly fitness and fun to the city centre


A new indoor bike park, bringing family-friendly fitness and fun to Manchester city centre, is opening at Mayfield in February.

The Dirt Factory Pop-Up is being created inside a disused 25,000 square feet warehouse off the Mancunian Way.

The brainchild of five passionate cyclists who have raised more than £400,000 through crowd-funding, Dirt Factory aims to bring high quality bike trails to the heart of the city.

Around 2,000 tonnes of reclaimed soil will be used to create the bike park at Mayfield, which will create up to 10 full and part-time jobs. The team will be supported by more than 50 volunteers who have signed up to support the venture.

The Dirt Factory Pop-Up will house a range of bike trails and features designed for riders of all ages and abilities. They hope it will be an evolving creative space where individuals, friends and groups can ride together, have fun and take their bike skills to the next level.

Photo: Phil Tragen

The Dirt Factory will be open for up to two years ahead of the business moving to a permanent home at a larger facility in Greater Manchester.

In the long term, the 24-acre Mayfield site will be transformed into a world-class urban quarter, delivering new office and leisure space and the first city centre park in more than 100 years, as well as 1,300 homes and a hotel.

James Heather, development director for the Mayfield Partnership, which comprises Manchester City Council, LCR, Transport for Greater Manchester and regeneration specialist U+I, said: “We are really pleased and excited to be supporting the launch of Dirt Factory, it’s a fantastic initiative and one that fits perfectly with our own values in terms of community and well-being.

“Since the formation of the partnership nearly two years ago we have focused on learning about the heritage of this site and listening to a wide range of people about what they would like to see here. This has been invaluable in helping shape our long-term vision for Mayfield.  

“While doing this we have brought part of the site back to life by working with GRUB [Manchester’s street food events company], hosting headline events for Manchester International Festival and CityCo, the pop-up Christmas cinema and most recently Manchester Pride. The Dirt Factory Pop-Up continues this worthwhile work and we look forward to welcoming cyclists of all ages to Mayfield.”

Dirt Factory co-founder and Managing Director Dan Makin, said: “We can’t wait to open at Mayfield. The Dirt Factory Pop-Up is an amazing opportunity to bring our dream alive and as a start-up it’s great to have such amazing support from the Mayfield Partnership, with whom we share so many common values around inclusivity, wellbeing and the environment.

“As well as the opportunity to ride a range of indoor bike trails and features, the Dirt Factory Pop-Up will offer bike hire including e-bikes and a host of exciting events.”

Welcoming the launch of the Pop-Up, Greater Manchester’s Cycling and Walking Commissioner, Chris Boardman, said: “Mountain biking and BMX are hugely popular activities and high quality, low-cost facilities in convenient city locations are a major factor in encouraging more people to give them a try. We hope to do our bit by enabling more people to make journeys to and from the city centre without cars.

“It’s great to hear that there will be a big community focus to the Dirt Factory project and I wish everyone involved all the best with this venture.”

In 2016, U+I were appointed as development partner to deliver a wholesale regeneration of derelict Mayfield station and its surrounding areas.

The Mayfield Partnership have brought parts of the depot back into public use through a wide range of events including the weekly GRUB street-food fair and a host of one-off events from private functions, weddings and trailblazer events from the Manchester international Festival programme for 2018.

Mayfield is a 24-acre site next to Manchester Piccadilly station. The partnership’s vision is for Mayfield to become a distinctive new urban quarter, delivering 1,300 homes, 75,000 sq m of office space, a 350-bedroom hotel, retail and leisure facilities and a new city park over the next decade.


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