Work has begun on the restoration of the 120-year-old Herne Hill Velodrome in London, UK.
The dilapidated track is one of the oldest in the world, and the six-week project is the first major regeneration work to be carried out since a 15-year lease was signed between the landowners, The Dulwich Estate, and the tenants, British Cycling.
Funding was secured through British Cycling’s “Whole Sport Plan” - a programme to create a lasting cycling legacy in Britain - and a donation from Herne Hill Velodrome stalwart Leonard Lyes, who had left money in his Will to be used “in the pursuit of track cycling”. The commencement of the work is a huge boost to the Save the Velodrome Campaign, which aims to update the last remaining finals venue from the 1948 Olympic Games into a modern arena.
Hillary Peachey, Chair of the campaign, said: “These works are a turning point for the Herne Hill Velodrome. Barely a year ago the future of this incredible site was uncertain; the lack of a long term lease combined with a series of harsh winters was threatening to overcome all the hard work which has been put in to the track over the decades and there was a very real threat of closure.
“The Trust itself is now fundraising in earnest to bring together the plans and strategy needed to make the site a viable cycling venue for long in to the future. In time we will be drawing up proposals and inviting cyclists, local residents and politicians to tell us what they think, before we submit a planning application to Southwark Council. And of course, we are all looking forward to that first spin on the new track."