BH Live joins forces with cycling powerhouses to boost participation across the city

This summer a free community cycling event, and a series of low-cost cycling activities for all, will be running in the city – thanks to a British Cycling’s ‘Places to Ride’ grant and Cycling UK’s grassroots funding.

Starting in July, instructor led cycling activities and events will be running at Mountbatten Leisure Centre.

Sessions include a free-to-attend open day with taster rides on Sunday 4 July 2021. This will be followed by a programme of:

  • low-cost adult and baby rides
  • group events to boost mental health in conjunction with Portsmouth Interaction
  • women’s only rides
  • a junior bike club
  • baby bikers.

Sessions will run at the velodrome at Mountbatten Leisure Centre and on nearby cycle paths.

Delivered through a unique partnership between British Cycling, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) and Sport England, the Places to Ride programme has made £15 million available to ensure a lasting legacy in England from the 2019 UCI Road World Championships.

Lizzie Butcher, Community Sports Development Manager for BH Live said,

“A big thank you to British Cycling for this incredible opportunity. With further support from Cycling UK, Sport England, Portsmouth City Council, Portsmouth North End Cycling Club, Portsmouth School of Cycling, Racing Club Omega and Energise Me, more people will be able to enjoy getting on a bike this summer.

She adds, “Cycling has so many benefits for physical and mental health and is a fantastic endorphin releasing activity! We encourage everyone to come and have a go to see how much fun it can be.”

Andy Farr, Head of Business Planning and Transformation at British Cycling, added,

BH Live is doing great work to get more people cycling in Portsmouth. We are pleased to support their efforts to bring the community together and enjoy cycling through Places to Ride.

“We are incredibly proud to see how it has already enabled so many people from a range of backgrounds – regardless of age, gender, ability or ethnicity – to get involved with cycling.”

Charles Johnston, Sport England Director of Property continued,

Sport England is proud to be delivering, in partnership with British Cycling, the single biggest government investment into community cycling facilities the country has seen in recent years.

The investment will provide more facilities such as track and bike centres, where people can ride confidently and safely as well as access to essential equipment they need to have a go.”

Cycling UK has championed the cause of cycling for more than 140 years. Sarah Cunnold from Cycling UK added,

“We are delighted to have joined forces with BH Live to establish these new activities. We want to engage with individuals who are new to cycling or returning cyclists who want to benefit from the joys of getting out on a bike in a friendly, safe and welcoming environment. Along with the fantastic staff at Mountbatten Leisure Centre, Portsmouth Interaction volunteers will also be trained to lead rides and learn additional skills such as bike maintenance and safety.”

Councillor Lynne Stagg, Portsmouth City Council’s Cabinet Member for Traffic and Transportation, said,

“I am delighted to hear about this funding that will really help to encourage more people to cycle in Portsmouth as we continue to create an environment that makes it safer and easier for more people to walk and cycle. This will also benefit the health and wellbeing of many residents. I look forward to supporting BH Live at the events.”

To find out more about booking cycling sessions at Mountbatten Leisure Centre and to attend the taster day on Sunday 4 July 2021, please ask in the centre for details.

For more about Places to Ride visit

Notes to Editors:

BH Live has received £7,928 from British Cycling’s Places to Ride capital grants programme and Cycling UK’s grant scheme. This has enabled BH Live, which runs the city’s leisure centres in partnership with the council, to join forces with Cycling UK and local cycling providers.

  • Taster day at Mountbatten Leisure Centre (Sunday 4 July 2021) from 12noon until 4pm Free to attend, no booking required
  • Cycling sessions (from Monday 26 July 2021) Prices range from £2.50-£3.50 per person. Booking in advance essential via Mountbatten Leisure Centre.

Photo captions Credit: Sport England

For more about Place to Ride contact:

Chidi Onuoha, British Cycling Communications Officer +44 (0) 161 274 2077 +44 (0) 7740 408 928

For more information on Cycling UK visit

For more information on British Cycling’s #OwntheRide programme access the link here –

For more information about BH Live please contact:

Elizabeth Symmons, PR & Corporate Communications Executive E: T: (01202) 055562

About BH Live

BH Live is a leading operator of leisure and event venues; a social enterprise that designs and builds engaging experiences to inspire people and enrich lives.

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