£22m cycling centre for London

British cycling and London's bid to host the 2012 Olympics have been given a huge boost with the ann

British cycling and London's bid to host the 2012 Olympics have been given a huge boost with the ann
PIC BY PETER COSSINS British cycling has been given a huge boost today with the announcement of a £22 million cycling complex to be developed in east London. The announcement was made by London mayor Ken Livingstone and Lord Sebastian Coe, head of London's bid for the 2012 Olympics, on the day that a 13-strong team from the International Olympic Committee arrived in London to assess the city's bid. Livingstone said that the cycling complex will be built whether or not London's Olympic bid proves successful. Located in the Lower Lea Valley in the east London borough of Waltham Forest, the 34-hectare complex will comprise a 1,500-seat velodrome, an international standard BMX track, an outdoor cycle speedway circuit, a 1.6km road racing circuit, and a cross-country mountain bike course. Funding for the complex is set to come from Sport for England, the Lea Valley Regional Park Authority, the London Development Agency and Transport for London. Announcing the plans, Livingstone said: "These new facilities will nurture our current and future UK cycling stars and the wide range of facilities mean they will also provide wonderful leisure facilities. The Velopark will be built whether or not we get the Games, and will be a major step forward in the regeneration of the Lower Lea Valley." British Cycling chief executive was delighted to hear confirmation that the development will go ahead. "British Cycling has shown itself to be a reliable deliverer of Olympic success, but it has also used its existing facilities wisely and this has assisted in the sport securing this excellent new facility. I think I'm speaking for the nation's cyclists, when I say that I hope it will be a cornerstone of a hugely successful Olympic bid by London." Lord Coe commented: "Delivery is crucial to the International Olympic Committee. Many people don't realise that we already have 60 per cent of our venues for 2012 in place. We have begun work on the Aquatic Centre and will now begin work on the VeloPark which will be ready four years before the Games. This is a great example of delivery and puts real momentum behind our legacy plans. There is nothing better to demonstrate London is serious about sport and about winning these Games." The news provides a huge boost to cycling in the capital just days after it was revealed that the ageing Herne Hill velodrome in south London is in danger of being lost to commercial development. With an aquatics centre already given the go-ahead, the Velopark is the second major sports development to be announced during the Olympic bid process. If London does win the bid process for the 2012 Games, the velodrome's seating capacity will be raised to 6,000.
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