The future of Derby’s planned velodrome appears to have been secured with the city council due to meet in a fortnight’s time to consider which company should be chosen to build the £28 million Multi Sports Arena at Pride Park which will house the facility. There is a proviso, however, with the council needing the chosen builder to give undertakings tin connection with potential unexpected costs related to groundworks. The project had been thrown into doubt after control of the council passed following last month’s local elections from a Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition to Labour.
The final contract for the Multi Sports Arena had been due to be signed two days before Labour assumed power in the East Midlands city, but the outgoing leader of the council, Philip Hickson, said that it would have been “morally questionable” for him to do that so close to the transfer of control.
Quoted in the Derby Telegraph, Councillor Martin Repton, cabinet member responsible for leisure and culture, said: "With the Olympic Torch Relay coming to Derby [tomorrow, Friday 29 June] and the eyes of the world firmly fixed on our city with regard to sport and physical exercise, I am delighted that the council cabinet is to consider the report recommending progress to the next stage of this important Olympic legacy project."
The newspaper reports that the major concern for council leader Paul Bayliss and his colleagues surrounds who would foot the bill for any potential unforeseen costs once groundworks begin at the site of the facility.
As a result, the recommendation about the preferred builder will come with the proviso that the Environment Agency has to approve the design of the foundations for the building, and that such works can be carried out within the agreed budget.
The newspaper adds that five companies are on the shortlist to construct the Multi Sports Arena – Bowmer & Kirkland, which is based in Derbyshire itself, Leicestershire business Galliford Try, and three firms from the West Midlands – Interserve, Morgan Sindall and Bam, the latter being part of a major Netherlands-based construction group that has also been involved in the development of London’s Olympic Park.
Following May’s local elections, there had been fears that Labour, which had been against the scheme while in opposition, would scrap it.
A campaign to save the Multi Sports Arena was launched by Cycling Derby and attracted support from cyclists in the city and beyond, with Manchester currently the closest comparable facility, and one where track time is obviously at a premium.
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.