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Racing returns to Preston Park this weekend

Track was closed for almost two years due to safety concerns

Competitive cycling is to return to Preston Park this weekend after a gap of almost two years. The track – the oldest in the UK and the second-oldest in the world – closed in September 2014 due to safety concerns and needed £160,000 of work doing to bring it back up to standard.

The Argus reports that the venue will host the Youth Omnium on Sunday from midday before the Wednesday night track league resumes from 7pm on May 18. Both are weekly events and a second track league will also run on Friday nights.

There are also plans to try and raise money for floodlighting amid hopes that additional funding can be secured from British Cycling.

Rupert Rivett, from Save Preston Park Cycle Track, said:

“Everybody is very happy about competitive cycling returning to the track and the event is already fully booked.

“The steering committee are set to finalise at a meeting later this month setting up a charity. We’re looking to get lights at the track so it can be used at night and during the winter.

“We need to make the track sustainable so it doesn’t fall apart, it will always need work doing to it. If we have the lights, cyclists can come off the roads during the winter and use the track to train and we can look at maybe raising revenue.

“British Cycling have invested in the track and now have an interest to see it go from strength to strength.”

Shortly after the track was closed, a campaign was launched to save it with a petition submitted to Brighton and Hove City Council attracting more than 4,000 signatures. In January, British Cycling agreed a funding package to secure its future, contributing the majority of the £160,000 needed for repairs and improvements. Among other measures, work was carried out to fit safety fencing around the track at the start of the year.

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