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£400,000 Olympic Legacy funding boost for Herne Hill Velodrome (+ video)

London's last surviving venue from 1948 Olympics benefits from legacy funding for 2012 Games...

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."

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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