A funding package has been agreed to save the Preston Park velodrome, Brighton and Hove City Council said today (Monday 11 January).
British Cycling and the council have jointly finalised the funding which will pay for safety improvement works at the historic Preston Park Cycling Track.
The track was closed to competitive cycling last year after users identified concerns over the velodrome.
The council said that, throughout last year, British Cycling representatives worked with council officials to look at ways to carry out repairs as quickly as possible to meet the needs of local cyclists.
With the funding package now agreed, work on the track will start early this year. The work is scheduled to be completed – and the site should be fully operational – in the spring.
The total cost of the works is £160,000, most of which is being funded by a grant award from British Cycling, with the remaining £50,000 coming from developers’ contributions. These are also known as planning gain or section 106 funding contributions from planning applications.
British Cycling coaching, education and development director John Mills said: “Preston Park provides an excellent traffic-free cycling facility which is of great value to the people of Brighton and the wider south east region.
“We are delighted to have agreed a partnership funding package for the work which will see this track return to full operation in the spring.”
Council leader Warren Morgan said: “This announcement is excellent news for the cycling community. The Preston Park velodrome is a much-loved part of our city’s history, being the oldest cycling track in the country.
“The funds will be put to good use to replace the fencing and carry out minor repairs.
“The track is used by riders of all abilities and after the repairs are completed everyone will be able to enjoy it, knowing it is a safer and refurbished place to cycle.
“It will also be wonderful for the Track League to return as it is a great community event every week, bringing people together from all over Sussex and further afield to compete in or spectate the racing.”
The cost of the scheme is lower than originally anticipated, meaning more funding will remain for investment in the rest of Preston Park in line with its management plan.