Council to decide on scheme next Wednesday as cycling groups highlight benefits of Multi Sports Arena to wider community

Cycle campaigners in Derby are calling on supporters of the city’s proposed Multi Sports Arena, which includes a velodrome, to continue to give their backing to efforts to save it after a council vote on whether the project should go ahead was put back until next week.

The future of the £28 million scheme, which will be located at Pride Park adjacent to Derby County FC’s stadium, has been thrown into doubt following local elections earlier this month which resulted in Labour, which had opposed the project while in opposition, assuming control of the council.

Councillors had been expected to decide whether to go ahead with the scheme last weekend, but it now appears that a decision will be made next Wednesday 23rd of May.

Derby Cycling Group and Derby Mercury Cycle Club have emphasised that the multi-sports arena would provide benefits not just to cyclists but also the wider community through the variety of sports that it would host, as well as being used to stage concerts.

The groups say that they have received strong backing from non-cyclists, and are calling on supporters to sign a petition and join them at Derby Market Place at 5.30pm on Monday 21 May to show their backing for the scheme.

A short bike ride around the city centre is planned, and participants in other sports are also encouraged to take part in their chosen events at the market place.

On its website, which gives further details of developments in recent days and other ways in which supporters can take action, Derby Cycling Group outlines the benefits of the multi-sports arena to the wider community, as follows:

  • As well as providing a fantastic facility for local racing cyclists, the velodrome will boost Derby’s local economy by bringing thousands of people to the city from all over the UK who wouldn’t otherwise come here
  • They will spend money in our shops, hotels and other businesses keeping people in work as well as paying to use the velodrome
  • It has already attracted the attention of businesses looking for somewhere to locate factories and offices; it will set Derby apart from the crowd
  • It will provide a unique concert and sporting venue with the velodrome track above and around the main sports hall/audience arena
  • Cycle Derby plan to extend their hugely successful projects which get thousands of local youngsters cycling every year into the velodrome. Literally thousands of Derby children take part in BMX and cyclo-cross racing, keeping them fit and healthy, and giving them experience to also use their bikes for transport, they will be use the velodrome as well as part of their school-based activities
  • Sporting cyclists often support the cycle transport schemes that we propose and this is our opportunity to help support sporting cyclists.

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.