Powering up for The Fort Vale Colne Grand Prix

Engineers and fitness trainer at Fort Vale Engineering are going up a gear with just a month to go to the Colne Grand Prix on Tuesday 16th July.

Race night, hosted by Colne Town Council and organised by British Cycling,  starts in the town centre with the Youth Race at 6.30pm followed by the Sprint for Success at 7.15pm.

And the Fort Vale Colne Grand Prix starts at 8.15pm with more details on www.colnetowncouncil.org.uk

“We’re powering up for the big race and proud to be headline sponsor for the second year running,“  said Fort Vale’s General Manager, Shaun Laycock.

Councillor Mary Thomas, Chairman of Colne Town Council said:

“For the four years from 2014 to 2017 Fort Vale sponsored the earlier race for up and coming riders named Sprint for Success by one of their employees.

“They have stayed loyal to this high speed event and been great supporters and we’re delighted they are our headline sponsor,”   Mary added.

“It’s an adrenaline rush to see world class cyclists from top British teams battling it out on the toughest circuit in the national elite series,” said Shaun.

“Our passion for cycling runs right through the company, from our management team to engineers and young apprentices.

“People on our workforce are into triathlons and competitive cycling,” explained Shaun.

And Fort Vale has invested in a new state-of-the-art sport and fitness centre on-site, just two minutes’ walk from the main factory at Simonstone.

Kelly Armstrong is the Wilson Fort Sports Centre Manager with a typical Liverpudlian friendly but no-nonsense approach.

As well as managing the facilities, she leads high energy boot camp sessions, cycle spinning classes and climbing wall activities.

“Last year was my first Grand Prix and I hadn’t expected such a fast paced race – or so many spectators,” said Kelly.

“I’m now getting my own road bike!”

Kelly has seen workers make more and more use of the new facilities through this first year since it opened.

“People use the centre who’ve never used facilities like this before.

“Some workers who came for five-a-side football now use the fitness classes and the gym regularly,” she said.

Engineer Damien Hardman cycles in to work from Burnley and trains in the Fort Vale gym before cycling home.

“I got a decent bike thanks to Fort Vale taking part in the national cycle scheme.

““I do weight training at the gym three times a week after work.  It’s really convenient.

“I’ve worked out at a few different gyms and the facilities at Fort Vale are the best I’ve used,” he said.

Daniel Hosker, like Damien, has worked at Fort Vale for seven years.

A self-confessed fitness addict and keen Colne Grand Prix spectator, Dan uses the new fitness centre every day.

And in summer he cycles into work from his home in Clitheroe

“I do spin classes, boot camp and five-a-side.  It’s great.  I love it!

Dan added:  “Your mental health is better when you cycle and do fitness training.

“It’s helped me tackle difficult times.  It clears your head and helps you focus better.

Mark Hughes from Barrowford has been a designer for Fort Vale for 15 years and is another of the company’s keen cyclists.

He uses the spinning bikes at Fort Vale and the Steven Burke cycle track in Pendle to train for triathlons.

General Manager Shaun Laycock, just back from a cycling holiday in France, added:

“I love the way people right across our company have got into cycling and fitness.

“Our investment in the new centre has been good for the health and well-being of our colleagues at Fort Vale.

“It’s made a big difference to our workforce in all aspects of their lives, at home and at work, he said.