The third and final stage of a project to secure the future of one of the UK’s most important sporting and cycling venues has begun.
Built in 1891, the open-air velodrome at Herne Hill has, over the years, welcomed some of the world’s greatest riders as well as playing host to hundreds of thousands of young and aspiring riders. By 2001 the track was under threat of closure due to the surface breaking up, and the pavilion deemed unsafe. Thanks to Velo Club Londres, British Cycling and the co-operation from The Dulwich Estate, the site, and cycling, was maintained until 2010, when local residents launched a campaign to save the velodrome for future generations.
In May 2016 the original pavilion, which had been unusable and unsafe for many years, was demolished as the site was prepared for a brand new pavilion designed by long-term supporters of the Trust, and designers of the Olympic Velodrome, Hopkins Architects.
Grants from Sport England, the London Marathon Trust, Southwark Council and £100,000 from the Mayor of London’s Sports Facilities Fund helped make the pavilion possible. The Mayor of London’s Sports Facilities Fund was delivered by the Football Foundation, the nation’s largest sports charity.
The track itself remained open for riding and racing by schools, communities and clubs.
Hillary Peachey, Chair of the Herne Hill Velodrome Trust said, “What better way to celebrate Herne Hill Velodrome’s 125th birthday this year by starting the final phase of our ambitious project to construct a new pavilion, which will safeguard cycling here for the next 99 years.
"We owe enormous thanks to the volunteers, the schools, the clubs, riders, land owners (The Dulwich Estate), lease holders (British Cycling) and of course our incredible funders: Sport England, The London Marathon Charitable Trust, Southwark Council, the Mayor of London and the project team for getting us this far.”
The pavilion works have been made possible by an agreement between current leaseholders British Cycling and the Herne Hill Velodrome Trust, the future leaseholders of the track. On completion of the new facility, the Trust will take over the day to day operation of the track, working with the clubs that already support and use the venue. The new pavilion will include function rooms with a viewing gallery, a bar and refreshment area plus bike storage facilities, a new grandstand with bench seating.
To celebrate the 125th anniversary of the Herne Hill Velodrome, there will be a series of events throughout 2016 and 2017 highlighting the history of the sporting venue. A new logo has also been designed to emphasise both the history and the soon to be completed modern velodrome facilities and offering.
The appointed contractors Conamar Ltd are working closely with the professional team, site users, and local residents to deliver this final phase during the first quarter of 2017.