Reading velodrome £366,000 upgrade complete

The future of youth cycling in Berkshire is secured as the British Cycling-funded improvements to Palmer Park's sports facilities are completed...

Resurfacing work has been completed in a £366,000 upgrade to Reading's Palmer Park Velodrome.

Thanks to £121,000 in contributions from British Cycling, the Berkshire facility has been able to install energy saving flood lighting for the facility, improve 5-a-side football facilities, and resurface the outdoor velodrome.

British Cycling also played an active role in recommending the new cycle track fencing.

>Read more: Reading Palmer Park velodrome reopens after safety check

The facilities in east Reading have been dogged with problems over the last few years and the all-clear it has been given this week comes as "fantastic" news to locals.

Back in 2014 cracks were found in the racing surface and exposed nails in the perimeter fencing forced the facility to be closed for six weeks and reopened in 2015.

This time, though, the problems were not as severe, and MPs were not forced to lobby for the work to be done to improve the facilities.

>Read more: MP lobbies Reading Council over urgently needed repairs to Palmer Park velodrome

British Cycling coaching, education and development director, John Mills, had a lot of praise for the project, when approached by local news outlet Get Reading.

"It’s fantastic to see these works complete and for Palmer Park to be up and running as a cycling facility again," he said.

“Traffic-free facilities such as this one are integral to our aim to ensure that everyone in the country has a safe, accessible place at which to develop their skills and confidence on a bike.

“We know how vital Palmer Park is to the local community, and we’d like to thank Reading council for their work to safeguard the future of the circuit.

"We, like them, look forward to seeing it used by thousands of local cyclists over the coming years.”

Reading's lead councillor for sport, Cllr Paul Gittings, expressed his thanks to British Cycling and reiterated how important facilities like these are to local communities.

"I’d like to thank British Cycling for their generous financial contribution and to acknowledge the hard work from council officers and contractors that has brought this series of improvements to completion," Cllr Gittings told Get Reading.

"Longer term, we are also committed to investing in a new 25-metre, six-lane pool in Palmer Park, linked to existing leisure and sport facilities.

"We want to encourage our residents to be as active as possible. The provision of good quality, readily accessible sports facilities underpins this ambition.”

An official launch for the new facilities is set to take place on Saturday, March 11, where the Mayor of Reading will be in attendance, alongside representatives from British Cycling.

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