Derby velodrome plans uncertain after change in council leadership
Development of the proposed velodrome in Derby is uncertain following a change in the party controlling the council.
Plans for the £20m state-of-the-art multi-sport arena had been developed by the city’s Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition but since Labour’s victory in last Thursday’s local elections, question marks are surrounding the project.
It was originally hoped that the 5,000 seat venue would open by the summer of 2014 but Labour, who had been vociferous in their opposition, have now ordered a report into its viability and will take on-board opinions from both people within the party and the public. A Derby County Council spokesperson told BikeRadar a decision will be made on or shortly after the party assumes power on 23 May.
The outgoing Conservative leader of the council, Philip Hickson, had been expected to sign off on the deal before leaving office but this will no longer happen. According to the BBC, he believed it would be “morally questionable” to sign it off and let them off the hook from making a decision themselves.
Derby Cycling Group, who have campaigned for better cycling provision in the city since 1979, say that as well as providing a top facility for residents of Derby, it would boost the local economy by bringing in thousands who wouldn’t normally visit. It is encouraging people to write to the new leader of the council, Paul Bayliss, and pledge support for the velodrome.
The arena, which would also house sports courts and host concerts, would feature an Olympic standard 250m cycling track. The proposals also include a 1.5km closed-circuit cycle track around the outside of the building. It would be built on land next to Derby County’s Pride Park football stadium and replace some of the older sports centres in the city.