British Cycling President Brian Cookson today launched new facilities at the Herne Hill Velodrome which will help secure the long term future of the 1948 Olympic venue.
British Cycling and the Herne Hill Velodrome Trust, with support from The Dulwich Estate, Sport England, the London Marathon Charitable Trust and Southwark Council were joined by new ambassadors for the unveiling.
Also revealed for the first time today are the concept plans by the world renowned team at Hopkins Architects – the firm behind the awe inspiring London Olympic & Paralympic Games Velodrome in Stratford – for a new pavilion which will, at last, offer cyclists from the ages of 2 to 92 an indoor space to relax, change, train and enjoy this much loved site.
After the site nearly closed three years ago, British Cycling took on a long lease of the velodrome and immediately financed the resurfacing of the track. This work was carried out thanks to the work of Leonard Lyes, a lifelong supporter of track cycling and a member of De Laune CC.
Having worked with the Herne Hill Velodrome Trust on the developments supported by the Southwark Olympic Legacy Fund, British Cycling will continue to work with the Trust on the plans outlined today.
"Herne Hill is living proof that cycling is a sport which can be trusted with legacy venues."
British Cycling president Brian Cookson OBE
British Cycling president Brian Cookson OBE said: “Herne Hill is living proof that cycling is a sport which can be trusted with legacy venues.
“Last year we had a first British winner of the Tour de France in Sir Bradley Wiggins. His journey to the Champs Elysee started here at Herne Hill, and the work British Cycling does to sustain facilities like this one are essential if we want to continue to produce world beaters like Brad who have inspired record numbers to get on their bikes.”
Hillary Peachey, Chair of the Herne Hill Velodrome Trust, the charity established to save the site, said: “Thanks to all our partners, we have completed two phases of the project, and the third – a new pavilion – is just beginning.
“We desperately need new indoor facilities – a café, space for winter training, showers and toilets, changing rooms, none of which we have at the moment. The track itself is thriving and we want to inspire a greater range and ability of cyclist, from toddlers on balance bikes to disabled riders on hand bikes.
“What better 125th birthday celebrations could we have in 2016 than celebrate the opening of a new pavilion?”
The Olympic legacy facilities opened today were designed in consultation with current and potential users, including school groups, event organisers and disabled charities to encourage the widest possible use on site.
The proposal for the new pavilion follows a feasibility study which was funded by Sport England and the London Marathon Charitable Trust. Further consultation with cyclists and local residents will follow before submission of planning proposals.
The Herne Hill Velodrome Trust is looking to partner with sponsors and funders to provide critical funding to support the design and construction of this building; it is estimated that the total costs involved will be approximately £3m. The Trust’s aim is to celebrate Herne Hill Velodrome’s 125th Anniversary in 2016 with the grand opening of a new pavilion.