A CYCLING festival is due to take place later this year to highlight the benefits of cycling and promote tourism.

The Solway Coast Cycling Festival will take place this September on Silloth Green. It’ll take place on September 11 — just a day after the The Tour Of Britain has been through Cumbria.

The family-friendly event will showcase the Solway Coast as a cycling destination and encourage people to incorporate cycling as part of a healthy and environmentally friendly lifestyle.

Features set to be included are way-marked and led cycle rides, bike maintenance, workshops, kids’ activities and cycling skills sessions.

In a push to help people get active in the wider region, work to resurface part of the popular Maryport-to-Allonby coastal cycleway has now started which, when complete, will make the track even more accessible for cyclists and pedestrians.

Mike Johnson, leader of Allerdale Council, said: “Helping people get active and also getting people out on the fantastic new cycle path is certainly high up on our agenda.

“We’ve got to encourage people to start thinking about being greener and more environmentally friendly and this is all part of that.”

Mr Johnson added his hopes that the festival draws attention to the Allerdale region as a whole and serves to attract tourists who would normally stay in the county’s famous Lake District to venture further afield.

He said: “This forms part of our tourism strategy. I’m delighted that Cllr Tony Markley, Portfolio holder for Leisure and Tourism, is going to be the district council’s representative for Cumbria Tourism. South Lakeland has no issues attracting visitors but, for us, the key is now dispersing those visitors around the county.

“With Tony on the board, it will spread the word about what we have on offer here in Allerdale. There’s more to Cumbria than just the mid-Lake District.”

Carlisle Community Cycle Hub, Calvert Lakes and many other organisations have already confirmed their participation. To get involved contact joe.broomfield@allerdale.gov.uk.