Track Cycling

Manchester velodrome faces ‘catastrophic’ building failures, report warns – BBC News


image captionThe track has been used by Team GB cyclists including Sir Chris Hoy, Dame Sarah Storey and Sir Bradley Wiggins

“Significant investment” is needed to prevent “catastrophic” building failures at Manchester’s velodrome, a report has warned.

Parts of the 26-year-old National Cycling Centre are “approaching end of life” and need refurbishment.

A planning application suggests major events could pull out of the city if urgent repairs are not carried out.

The track has helped to produce Team GB stars such as Sir Chris Hoy, Dame Sarah Storey and Sir Bradley Wiggins.

Manchester’s velodrome was Britain’s first indoor Olympic standard cycling track when it was jointly developed by British Cycling alongside Manchester City Council and Sport England.

The venue is seen as the most important “legacy outcome” of the city’s 2002 Commonwealth Games, the Local Democracy Reporter Service said.

image copyrightOther
image captionSir Chris Hoy winning the 1km track time trial final at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester

But investment is needed over the next 15 years to address structural, mechanical and electrical failures in parts of the building, a report by architects Ellis Williams said.

It warned that if work is not carried out, it would mean Manchester would not be suited to host national and international events and programmes, which would relocate to the city’s competitors in Glasgow, Derby and London.

“To not invest would make it extremely challenging to lever in any external investment to address facility failures and enhance service provision,” it says.

“This would also undermine the financial arrangement on the stadium agreement, which Sport England allow to flow into improvements of wider city council sports and leisure assets up to 2026. 

“If the national cycling centre was forced to close due to catastrophic failings it would be very difficult to retain investment in Manchester beyond 2026.”

The extensive works include replacing lighting, seating, CCTV, all suspended ceilings, lifts, trackside toilet and sanitary facilities and flooring on the Velodrome’s central court.

The track itself was recently upgraded and will need to be protected throughout the project, according to the planning application.

A report on these issues was put on hold by Manchester City Council, which is the freehold owner of the building, as it considered a bid for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

It was hoped that funding gained from hosting the event would cover the repairs but, after losing out to Birmingham, the council’s estates board has been told to prioritise the building’s repair.

Why not follow BBC North West on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram? You can also send story ideas to northwest.newsonline@bbc.co.uk