Planning approval received for major Velodrome refurb

Planning permission has been granted for a major programme of refurbishment work to future-proof Manchester’s Velodrome.

Part of the HSBC UK National Cycling Centre, the Velodrome acts as the training base for Team GB’s Olympic stars and was Britain's first indoor Olympic-standard cycling track when it opened its doors in 1994.

The project will now be progressed to RIBA Stage 4 - the production of a technical design - at which point, a report will be submitted to Manchester City Council's Executive for approval.  

With one of the world's fastest and busiest board tracks, the Velodrome was in use seven days a week before the pandemic, thanks to its comprehensive programme of activities for cyclists of all levels of ability, from elite to novice.

Subject to Executive approval of the design, refurbishment work is provisionally expected to commence after the Tokyo Olympic Games - which are currently due to take place this July and August - allowing Team GB to continue to use the facility for pre-Olympic training.

The work will bring the velodrome up to modern standards for hosting major events and reduce the building’s carbon footprint, supporting Manchester’s ambitious aim of becoming a zero-carbon city by 2038 at the latest.  

Work will be carried out to upgrade the velodrome’s energy systems, lighting, roof, water supply, scoreboard and timing systems, plus its track centre sports courts, catering and meeting spaces.  To help cut emissions, the velodrome’s existing gas boilers are to be replaced with air source heat pumps.

Executive Member for Skills, Culture and Leisure, Councillor Luthfur Rahman OBE, said: "The Velodrome is a structurally sound building, but is now more than 25 years old and work is needed to future-proof it for the coming decades.

"We have made a long-term commitment to cycling in Manchester and have been working with British Cycling to thoroughly assess the building.  This refurbishment scheme will bring the Velodrome up to modern standards, benefitting Team GB and all the Manchester residents who enjoy using the facility by keeping our city at the forefront of this exciting sport.

"Another key benefit of the work is that by upgrading to greener energy systems, we can significantly reduce the Velodrome's carbon emissions, making a big contribution to the city's climate change commitments."

British Cycling Chief Operating Officer, Jamie Obank, said: “We are proud to call the HSBC UK National Cycling Centre our home and are delighted that planning approval has been granted for substantial renovation works, which will benefit the sport’s biggest stars, our team of staff and the thousands of riders of all ages and abilities who enjoy riding and racing on the track every year.

“Manchester City Council has been a vital backer of our sport for decades and we thank them once again for their ongoing support and determination to cement Manchester’s position as a global destination for sporting excellence.”

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