With racing looking in doubt for the coming season and the long term future of the track in serious doubt for the first time since 1892. It’s time we all tried to pursuade the owners of the site, The Dulwich Estate, to see sense. With the right repairs, a roof and some shrewd management a Velodrome in the capital would be a resource that is not only essential but also financially viable. But why should we care?
Well, It provides support, coaching and above all a safe environment for young cyclists to learn how to race. Just ask a certain Olympic Champion Bradley Wiggins – he started out at the Hill.
With the population within the M25 being so large it is crucial for the development of cycling for everyone. For kids however, it is essential we have safe facilities away from the crowded and dangerous roads for our future stars and Olympians to train and race in safety.
Remember that it is London’s only velodrome. With a roof, progressive investment and sensible management it could be one of the most popular venues in the country.
The Good Friday meet has attracted (and still does!) the world’s best, it has been going for an incredible 101 years. It has featured international road riders like Stuart O’Grady and a host of UK stars like Reg Harris, Tony Doyle, Colin Sturgess, Hugh Porter, Chris Boardman, Bradley Wiggins, Chris Hoy, Graeme Obree, Jason Queally, Jamie Staff, Craig Mclean, Tony Gibb, Chris Newton and Rob Hayles, to name a few, have all raced there.
Graeme Geddes, chair of the London Velodrome Trust, wrote to John Major, CEO of the Dulwich Estate, hoping negotiations could re-open between the Estate, Southwark Council and the Trust. Here’s the main thrust of his concerns:
“You will be aware that The London Velodrome Trust (LVT) have, in partnership with Southwark, been pursuing options for the regeneration of the Herne Hill Velodrome (HHV), and that with confirmation of lease arrangements acceptable to public funders, are uniquely placed to access substantial amounts of public capital grant investment towards enhancing public use of the Velodrome.”
We have a specialist consultant team and resources in place and are continuing this work. LVT remains committed to working positively with The Estate, its future development partners, and all of the Velodrome’s stakeholders, to secure both investment for future regeneration of Herne Hill Velodrome – a unique London recreation facility with a rich sporting heritage dating from the late eighteenth century – and support for its continued operation in any interim period. We have immediate access to both financial and human resources for the latter.
“We appreciate The Estate’s operational constraints as a charity, and wish to contribute to solutions compatible with both this and our objective of ensuring a secure viable future for Velodrome, particularly given our ability to access resources.
“Because we consider that closure of the Velodrome, however short-term, would be damaging to all parties, we hereby request your urgent consideration of suitable licence arrangements for an interim operational framework between The Estate and LVT that will enable us to maintain un-interrupted public cycling provision at the Velodrome from the 1st February. This is particularly important now that the 2005 season is upon us, and that planning for this Good Friday’s 101st international race meeting is at an advanced stage.”
So please join the effort to save the Hill.
Please write (politely) to the Chief Executive of The Dulwich Estate, details as follows:
The Dulwich Estate