Next steps for cycling facilities study
20th March 2024
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Following a business case review, a feasibility study will now look at potential locations, designs and funding opportunities for multi-purpose indoor and outdoor facilities for all forms of cycling, such as BMX, mountain biking and track cycling.

Any new facilities will be for people of all ages and abilities, from those getting on a bike for the first time right up to aspiring elite competitors, building on the Commonwealth Games legacy and the WMCA’s wider work to get local people more physically active.

Jointly funded by the WMCA and Sport England, independent consultants were commissioned last year to carry out a business case that examined in detail all potential options, in response to a long-running petition calling for a dedicated velodrome in the region.

This followed a manifesto commitment from Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and WMCA chair, to review the business case for a velodrome in the region.

The scope of that review included a purpose-built indoor velodrome, a mixed-use development to include a velodrome, an outdoor cycle park and improvements to existing outdoor velodromes in Wolverhampton and Halesowen.

The final report concluded there is a business case for a multi cycling facility, providing indoor and outdoor activities, which could include a 250m velodrome track, subject to findings of a detailed site feasibility study. The business case found there was no strategic, commercial or economical case for a standalone indoor velodrome or an upgrade of an existing facility.

The Mayor met with campaigners and local cyclists at Halesowen Athletic Club today, Thursday, 20 March, to announce the outcome of the business case.


The Mayor said: “For a number of years there has been a lot of campaigning on this issue and my commitment was to fund a business case for a velodrome.

“We now have that report and what we’re going to do next is to progress its recommendation to take a closer look at how we can provide for track cycling as part of more wide-ranging facilities that are for all levels and forms of cycling.

“We must continue to harness the interest generated by the Commonwealth Games and other sporting events that are coming to our region to inspire local people to be more active.

“We’re already doing that with the transformation of Sandwell Aquatics Centre into a state-of-the-art community sports centre which is attracting 15,000 visits every week, and I look forward to seeing plans for better and more inclusive cycling facilities progress over the coming months.”

A Cycling Facility Advisory Group has been overseeing the work. It is chaired by the Mayor’s cycling & walking commissioner, Adam Tranter and made up of local authorities, Sport England, British Cycling and community representatives, including David Viner, who has been leading the campaign to get a competition-standard velodrome built in the region.

Adam Tranter said: “I’m grateful to all the community groups and advisory panel for the project who helped us get feedback from communities on what they’d like to see in a facility.

“A cycling facility, including a velodrome, in the region would be a brilliant asset in reducing health inequalities, boosting sporting participation and getting more people interested in cycling for leisure and transport.”


Lisa Dodd-Mayne, executive director, place at Sport England, said: “We are pleased to have engaged with and supported the business case to look at the possibility of creating facilities for cycling, which has the potential to become an important asset for people in the local community for years to come.

“Sport England’s Uniting the Movement strategy aims to provide opportunities for all people to access sport and physical activity, regardless of their background, ability, or postcode. We hope the range of cycling opportunities that could be created would have tackling inactivity and inequalities at its heart.

“Having accessible facilities available is vital in building healthy and happy lifestyles which help the physical and mental wellbeing of all that use them. It is important that we continue to investigate projects like this so more people can fully reap the benefits that being active can have.”

Jon Dutton OBE, chief executive officer at British Cycling, said: “High quality, local cycling facilities are integral to our mission to enable more people to discover the joy of cycling, and growing the sport in the West Midlands.

“We fully support the robust and detailed manner in which this business case has been compiled and remain committed to working alongside the West Midlands Combined Authority and others to explore new opportunities to increase provision in the region.”

David Viner, velodrome campaigner, said: “The conclusion of the business case is a huge step forward for the campaign to have an indoor velodrome together with other possible cycling facilities for the West Midlands. This is long overdue.

“It is acknowledged that sports stadiums can become focal points for strong communities and catalysts for social and economic development – such has been the case with the existing velodromes in London, Manchester, Newport, Derby and Glasgow.

“An indoor velodrome is undoubtedly one of the most adaptive and inclusive of sporting arenas it is possible to build. It is now time for the West Midlands to catch up with other parts of the UK.”

About the Author

Ian Henery

Member since: 4th February 2019

Presenter Black Country Radio & Black Country Xtra

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