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Edinburgh councillors to agree £1.2m funding for outdoor velodrome

Sir Chris Hoy put his might behind the plans to provide a new training ground in his home city

Edinburgh councillors are on the brink of agreeing a £1.2m deal to open an outdoor cycle track in the city's suburbs, championed by Sir Chris Hoy.

The plans drawn up by City of Edinburgh Council include a concrete outdoor velodrome at Hunters Hall Park, which will also have a 1-kilometre road circuit, and a BMX track may be added in the future.

Work to complete the designs will start next week, including a banked track that can be used by junior and senior club and semi-professional riders, replacing an ageing velodrome at Meadowbank Stadium.

This news was welcomed by Graham Jones, head of membership services at Edinburgh RC Cycling Club, who said that the club had been inundated following the Olympics and Sir Chris Hoy’s success, with 60 new members joining the club in the past 12 months.

He told the Scotsman: “We’ve had 80 to 100 extra youths turning up to every event. To have a facility close to hand will be fantastic.”

Last summer, Hoy who became Britain’s most successful Olympian last summer when he won gold in the team sprint and keirin in London to add to his existing tally of four.

Commenting on the proposals, he said: “I’m delighted to hear that a new velodrome and road circuit are being built in my home city of Edinburgh, and very pleased to hear that the council is investing in local sports facilities and in cycling in particular, to provide decent access and facilities for people wanting to get in to the sport.

“This is great news for Edinburgh and for the future of Scottish sport.”

Councillor Richard Lewis, Culture & Sport Convener at City of Edinburgh Council, said earlier this year: "In line with our Capital Coalition pledge, we are committing substantial funding towards improving Edinburgh's sporting infrastructure, particularly in relation to cycling.

"The phenomenal success enjoyed by Sir Chris Hoy has acted as an inspiration to many and interest in cycling is at all time high.

"We have already allocated 6% of our transport budget to cycling improvements across the city but, through this investment, we want to encourage and support competitive cycling as well.

"While these plans are at a very early stage, our vision is to create a cycling hub which will be accessible all year round by cyclists of all ages and abilities.

"This is an investment in Edinburgh's sporting future but also in the continued regeneration of Craigmillar."

 

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.

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