Work has started on a new £715,000 clubhouse at Hillingdon Cycle Circuit, which is due to be completed in May ahead of a National Youth Series meeting at the West London venue.
Completion of the new building at the circuit in Minet Country Park, Hayes, which hosts some 300 cycling events a year plus sports including Nordic skiing and in-line skating, will coincide with increased use of the track by schools, and will provide youngsters with facilities for changing and coaching.
It also means that the circuit’s younger users, who will be looking to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Bradley Wiggins and Roger Hammond, will not have to make the trek to the nearby Goals Soccer Centre to get changed, although older cyclists will still be expected to use those facilities.
Hillingdon Council and British Cycling each provided £350,000 funding for the clubhouse, with the balance provided by the circuit’s Users Group, who operate the facility on behalf of the council, and the track’s youth group, the Hillingdon Slipstreamers Club.
Stuart Benstead, who chairs the Users Group, said: "We are most grateful to the council for its investment, encouragement and guidance in obtaining this clubhouse.”
He added: "We have a huge team of volunteers running events at the circuit seven days a week for much of the year, catering for everybody within the local community and around."
Councillor Henry Higgins, Hillingdon Council Cabinet Member for Culture, Sport and Leisure, said: "I am delighted that this development is underway.”
He continued: “With the new Botwell and Hillingdon leisure centres also due to open soon, this is a further indication of our commitment and continued investment in leisure facilities in the borough.
"We have been working in Partnership with British Cycling, who have been fantastic to deal with, and we look forward to its grand opening in this summer.
"It was also important that any building work undertaken was in keeping with Minet Country Park, and nothing was done on such a scale as to impact significantly on the surrounding area.
Mr Higgins concluded: "It will be of huge benefit for all residents, and particularly for cyclists of all abilities. We hope to continue to lead the way with these sorts of facilities that offer dual usage."
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.