The official opening of an accessible cycle route took place yesterday and it is hoped the track will prove an asset to the Solway Coast’s tourism industry.

A 14.1km route between Allonby and Silloth titled The Solway Coaster has been created thanks to a collaboration between Allerdale Borough Council and Silloth-on-Solway Coastal Community Team.

The CCT secured £1m from the Department for Communities and Local Government’s Coastal Communities Fund and a further £250,000 from DEFRA’s Rural Development Programme for England, part of the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.

Cumbrian cycling club Team XIII, were in attendance on Thursday with councillors for the opening. Councillor Anthony Markley said that it was a “fantastic achievement.”

“It’s a beautiful part of the county. I’m a big believer in cashing in on our natural resources.”

He added that the Solway Coast cycle track will be a boost for the area’s tourism industry, which has faced challenges during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It’ll come back. People are staying in this country for the foreseeable future and we can welcome them with open arms.”

Mayor of Maryport Peter Kendall said: “I think this is the way forward. As mayor of the town of Maryport I would say I’m enthusiastic about seeing the town promoted."

He agreed that the cycle track makes the most of a “hidden gem” in Allerdale.

“We have family who regularly come up from Nottingham. They don’t want to go around the lakes now they want to follow the coast right up to Bowness-on-Solway. It’s a wonderful asset.”