Paignton velodrome plan moves a step closer
The Westcountry is set to become a "Mecca" for cyclists after plans for the first combined outdoor velodrome and road track outside London and Manchester were given the go-ahead.
The move comes after stages of the Tour of Britain were successfully staged in Devon and as business leaders put together ambitious plans to one day host the start of the greatest cycle race of all – the Tour de France.
The outdoor velodrome would be similar to the country's best-known example at Herne Hill in South London.
Torbay council agreed to fund half the £1.5 million cost of building the facility and hopes that providing "iconic" resources of such regional significance will open the door to new streams of funding.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Wednesday, May 22 2013
Councillors agreed to the project, despite facing £10 million cuts to its spending budget, to take advantage of a once-in-a-generation opportunity to cement the area as a regional centre for the sport.
British Cycling, which is led by Sir Dave Brailsford, the driving force behind the massive haul of track medals and the nation's first Tour de France victory last year, has identified the area as its number one target for the centre.
Robert Excell, Torbay council lead member for sport, said he was 99% certain of realising the centre although he admitted the funding was "not yet sorted".
"The Torbay Development Agency will now ask what developers and investors think – there is a lot of interest being shown," he added. "British Cycling have looked at the areas, seen the need for a cycling destination in the South West and recognised Torbay as the ideal location.
"We want Torbay to become the cycling Mecca in the South West."
The twin facilities – a 400m outdoor banked oval track and a 1.5km closed road cycling circuit – are planned for land at Clennon Valley, near Paignton.
The council would own and manage them for both community use and competitive cycling. The nearest velodrome is in Bournemouth and those wanting to use a closed road cycle circuit currently need to travel as far as Birmingham or London.
Manchester, home to the National Cycling Centre and London, with its newly-built Olympic velodrome, are the only areas which have both a closed road circuit and a velodrome
British Cycling (BC) has described the provision of new facilities in the South West as one of its highest national priorities and intends to jointly fund the project, matching the £780,000 approved last week.
The road circuit would also be used for cycle proficiency training as well as providing a safe environment for roller blading and disabled sports.
The council says it is hoping to provide "another sports resource of regional significance" which would pave the way for application to the "iconic facilities grant and other high value funding opportunities".