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Carmarthen Velodrome - one of the world's oldest - gets a revamp after 117 years

405-metre track at historic venue will be resurfaced with work due to be completed in September

One of the world’s oldest velodromes, an outdoor track at Carmarthen Park in south west Wales, is getting a revamp after 117 years.

The 405-metre track opened on Easter Monday in 1900, since when it has remained in continuous use.

Work has already begun on resurfacing the concrete track, with contractors aiming to complete work in September, reports Wales Online.

Besides bike racing, the venue is also home to the Carmarthen Quins rugby union side and has also hosted events including funfairs, firework displays, and on two occasions the National Eisteddfod.

Carmarthen town and county councillor Alun Lenny said: “It is great to see the building work going ahead.

“Planning consent was granted in April and a formal tendering procedure was then undertaken resulting in GD Harries and Sons Ltd being appointed as the sole contractor.

“The project has taken a few years to get to this point due to the uniquely challenging nature of the work involved,” he continued.

“Several different types of surface had to be tested by cyclists during the last year and ultimately this has resulted in the decision to replace all of the existing concrete – 232 concrete bays – with brand new concrete that hopefully will last another hundred years or so,” Councillor Lenny added.

“We have worked very closely with the local cycling community and the wider national cycling bodies to ensure that the new cycling surface will be fit for purpose and will be of the required standard that will allow national and possibly international competitions to take place once again in Carmarthen.”

The project is being funded by Carmarthen Town Council, Carmarthenshire Council and Sport Wales.

The contractor’s commercial manager, Richard Burton, said: “This is a hugely significant historical and sporting project and we are delighted to have been appointed to do this work for Carmarthen Town Council.”

The two oldest velodromes in the world, both of which are in the UK, have also had extensive refurbishment in recent years following fears that they might have to close.

Those are the Preston Park Velodrome in Brighton, which opened in 1877, and Herne Hill Velodrome in south London, which dates back to 1890 and is the last surviving venue of the 1948 Olympic Games.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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HowardR | 7 years ago

Little known factoid - Bedford used to have a velodrome.

(On the Eastern side of Kimbolton road shortly before it meets Park Avenue)

If one takes an aerial look at Amberley Gardens you can just about make out the distant echo of its oval*


* For the pedantic among us I know that velodromes aren't oval but it's close enough.


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