Ken Livingstone is said to be "lending his wholehearted support" to the London Velodrome Trust, which is launched at City Hall tonight.
The aim of the Trust is to regenerate the existing Herne Hill Velodrome and turn it into a multi-purpose cycle-sport and fitness facility serving both its local community and the capital at large. Also attending the launch is Bradley Wiggins. Britain’s reigning Track World Champion Bradley has competed at Herne Hill since he was 12.
Livingstone said: ‘I’m a big supporter of Herne Hill Velodrome. The London Velodrome Trust’s plans for this historic track will be an essential part of London cycling’s future – strong links between cycling sport, fun, health fitness and everyday cycling for all.’
Long popular with schoolchildren and amateur cyclists alike, the cycle track is in need of a facelift. The Trust plans to raise £6m for redeveloping the track and improving its facilities. Improvements would allow the velodrome to pitch for London’s Olympic bid and a stage a Tour De France start in London.
The Herne Hill Velodrome was built in the late 19th century and was used in the 1948 London Olympics.
The Trust’s regeneration plan has already been given planning approval from former leaseholders Southwark Council. The plans include an all-weather perimeter cover for the track itself, gym facilities, ecological landscaping and an indoor climbing centre.