Sport Wales and Carmarthenshire County Council are set to invest £582,000 in Carmarthen velodrome which will enable the cycling facility to return to a training and competition venue for all cyclists.
Carmarthenshire County Council’s Executive Board has agreed to support the regeneration of the historic velodrome in Carmarthen with a capital funding contribution of £286,000. The funding has enabled a further £296,000 grant from Sport Wales, and will see the velodrome at Carmarthen Park become a regional centre of excellence for cycling.
Anne Adams-King, Chief Executive Officer at Welsh Cycling, said: “We are delighted that Sport Wales and Carmarthenshire County Council have been able to invest in the redevelopment of the Carmarthen velodrome. Facilities are core to the development and growth of cycling, providing a safe environment for people of all ages and abilities to enjoy cycling.
“With this investment, Carmarthen velodrome will not only serve as a training venue for local clubs and cyclists, but will be able to once again host Welsh Cycling performance sessions and national track cycling competitions. Carmarthen velodrome will become a hub of activity serving the whole community, and will be able to nurture the future champions of our sport.”
Steve Percey, coach at Towy Riders, based in Carmarthen, added: “I’m delighted to hear this positive news – it is fantastic for cycling generally but especially so for the development of cyclists from beginners to those at more advance levels of the sport.”
The track, which first opened in 1900, will be used as a training and competition venue for cyclists, with an upgraded track and safety fencing to bring it back into use.
Sport Wales Director of Elite Sport, Brian Davies, said: “Wales can only meet the aspirations of getting every child hooked on sport and creating a nation of champions if we have strong clubs, talented athletes, a skilled workforce and appropriate facilities that are fit for sport.
“There is a fantastic record of young and talented riders coming from this area so it makes sense to invest National Lottery funds in this project to enable the track to be regenerated to a standard that makes it a regional hub. This will support the continual development of talented riders, coaches and clubs in West Wales. With this kind of facility, local young talented riders can aspire to represent Wales and GB at future Commonwealth, Olympic and Paralympic Games.
“The facility development will also have a significant impact on regional club developments, quality of coaches and competition opportunities held in Carmarthen.
“I’m delighted that Carmarthenshire County Council sees the potential and value of the velodrome in Carmarthen through these partnerships.”
Local support for regeneration
Carmathenshire County Council Executive Board members said the investment would give the area an economic boost with thousands of people set to spend and stay with local businesses, as well as creating a raft of new job opportunities.
Cllr Meryl Gravell, Executive Board Member for regeneration, said: “This is an opportunity to save one of the most historic sports facilities in Wales. Without this investment the track, which is currently condemned, would never have been used again and 100 years of active use and sporting history would have come to an end.
“We look forward to seeing a future generation of cycling stars start their career right here in Carmarthenshire.”
Once complete, the velodrome will be run and maintained by Carmarthen Town Council. Carmarthen Town Mayor, Cllr Barry Williams, said: “I am absolutely delighted that Carmarthenshire County Council is able to provide this level of support towards the development of the velodrome in Carmarthen. The Town Council has been working very closely with colleagues from the County Council and officials from other organisations including Sport Wales, Welsh Cycling and British Cycling in helping to ensure that this project delivers the best possible facilities for cyclists of all abilities in this part of Wales.”