Issue details

23/00047 - Cyclopark Operator Agreement (OA) and Funding

Proposed decision:

To approve a retrospective* Deed of Variation to the Operator Agreement between KCC and Cyclopark Trust for the operation of the park and continuation of KCC financial support for the period May 2022 to April 2032 (10 Years).


Reason for Decision:

 A decision is required such that:


(a)  Kent County Council (KCC) shall agree to approve a retrospective* Deed of Variation to the Operator Agreement between KCC and Cyclopark Trust for the operation of the park and continuation of KCC financial support for the period 27 May 2022 to 26 May 2032 (10 Years).


(b)  KCC shall agree that authority be delegated to the Director of Growth and Communities to take appropriate actions in accordance with the terms of the Operator Agreement as necessary to implement this decision.


*  Work commenced October 2021 with Invicta Law Ltd. A draft Deed of Variation for review was received 29 April 2022 and circulated to Cripps solicitors acting for the Cyclopark Trust. Comments were received back, and a final version was agreed in principle 29 June 2022.  It has not been possible to bring this for decision until now. KCC continued to support the Trust during 22-23 under the same terms as stated in the original Operator Agreement to ensure continuity of service provision.



Cyclopark is a unique 43-acre sports and community facility built on redundant land made available because of the realignment of the A2 trunk road south of Gravesend and opened in May 2012 as a legacy project to the London Olympic and Paralympic Games.


The park is owned by KCC and operated on KCC’s behalf by a charitable trust (Cyclopark Trust) specifically established for the purpose. KCC as developer of the project on behalf of other local and national funding providers and stakeholders entered into a contractual agreement with Cyclopark Trust, the ‘Operator Agreement’, which covers lease of the land, commuted sum funding from (the then) Highways Agency and wider funding and operating arrangements. Changes to the Operator Agreement require a Deed of Variation to be approved by both.


Options (other options considered but discarded):

(a)      Extend the Operator Agreement for a further 10 years on existing terms.

(b)      Extend the Operator Agreement for a further 10 years with option to reduce KCC subsidy.

(c)       Procure a new Operator.

(d)      KCC to operate Cyclopark.


Preferred option: (b)


When the original decision was taken in November 2010, the supporting report stated: “The £125k per annum will be required in the longer term for a period of at least 25 years and is part of the financial viability forecasting for the project. The financial viability is necessary not only to the future success of the park but is also required by some of the funding partners as a condition to their capital funding towards the project”.


The Strategic Programme Manager has in discussion with the Cyclopark Trust agreed to the following clause being included in the proposed Deed of Variation (Appendix A):


“The Council agreed to make available, solely upon its discretion, to the Operator funding of up to £125,000.00 (one hundred and twenty-five thousand pounds) per annum for the new extended Contract Period referred to in Recital (C), which shall be made available at the sole discretion of the Council, who shall not be obligated to pay”.


This considers KCC budget pressures going forward and the aspirations of the Trust to increase their profitability going forward and to seek alternate funding, for example Public Health where applicable and not be solely reliant on KCC subsidy.


How the proposed decision supports Framing Kent’s Future 2022-2026:


Cyclopark works witha range of partners including KCC, Gravesham Borough Council, NHS England and British Cyclingmaking a valid contribution to three of the four priorities, namely:


Priority 1 – Levelling Up

Priority 3 – Environmental Step Change

Priority 4 - New Models of Care and Support


to hardwire a preventative approach into improving the health of Kent’s population and narrowing health inequalities. A vital component of levelling up Kent is taking action to narrow the gaps in health outcomes by supporting people to lead healthier lives.


Data Protection implications:

The trust is currently updating their Privacy Policy which is to be published at:


Decision type: Key

Reason Key: Expenditure or savings of more than £1m;

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Division affected: Gravesend East; Gravesham Rural;

Notice of proposed decision first published: 04/05/2023

Decision due: Not before 2nd Jun 2023 by Cabinet Member for Economic Development

Lead member: Cabinet Member for Economic Development

Lead director: Stephanie Holt-Castle

Department: Growth, Environment & Transport


The proposed decision was considered and endorsed by Members of the Growth, Economic Development and Communities Cabinet Committee at its meeting on 16 May 2023.

Financial implications: Revenue: £125,000 per annum for 10 years = £1,250,000 (The Cyclopark Trust) £30,600 is paid to Combined Property Control, freeholder of land which is not owned by KCC (Under a 50-year lease agreement) £30,600 is paid to KCC by The Cyclopark Trust to cover rent of the land. KCC Final Budget Book 2023-24 (approved 9 February 2023, Page 58, Row 80 – Growth & Communities, Growth and Support to Businesses) Capital: There is no current allocation within the Capital Programme for new infrastructure.

Legal implications: Cyclopark Trust is a registered charity number 1144915 (05 December 2011). There are 9 trustees who are responsible for controlling the work, management, and administration of the charity on behalf of its beneficiaries. Details can be found at: The trust has submitted its annual returns, accounts, and trustees' annual report (TAR) for the last five financial periods on time. The most recent return for the period ending 31st March 2022 was submitted on 1 November 2022.

Equalities implications: The Trust have their own EqIA checklist and statement (see supporting documents).


Agenda items