Herne Hill Velodrome, London’s last surviving venue from the 1948 Olympics, has been awarded £400,000 from a fund that aims to provide a lasting legacy from the 2012 Games.
Part of the money, which is coming from Southwark Council’s £2 million Olympics and Paralympics Legacy Fund, will be used to help pay for the recently resurfaced track.
The remainder will help transform Herne Hill into a multi-purpose cycling centre that can be used by the entire community, with a new building planned including bike storage, changing rooms and facilities for refreshment.
The track had faced an uncertain future after landlord The Dulwich Estate said last year that it planned to redevelop the site, which gave cyclist including three-time Olympic Champion Bradley Wiggins their first taste of track cycling.
That led to the setting up of the Save The Velodrome campaign, which earlier this year managed to secure the track’s future with British Cycling signing a 15-year lease on the site.
The governing body provided money for the resurfacing work, which has also benefited from a bequest from the estate of the late Leonard Lyes, who died in July 2009 and was a member of the De Laune Cycling Club, regularly officiating at Herne Hill.
The South London venue reopened last month after the resurfacing work had been carried out, the first track meeting being the Dave Creasy Memorial on 11 September in memory of another Herne Hill stalwart, the former president of Velo Club Londres, which manages the facility, who died last year. Some of the action from that first meeting on the newly resurfaced track was captured on video.
Herne Hill Velodrome was one of ten venues to receive funding from Southwark Council from more than 40 applications, with one of the other successful applications securing £150,000 for a new BMX track in Burgess Park.
Councillor Veronica Ward, cabinet member for culture, leisure, sport and the Olympics at Southwark Council, commented: “We had some great submissions and it was very difficult to decide the final ten but we have chosen projects which we believe will benefit people across the borough, regardless of age or level of fitness.
“We are committed to getting more people involved in sport in Southwark and hope these projects will help create a lasting legacy from the Olympic and Paralympic Games."
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.