Brighton Cycle Track Re-opens

The Preston Park cycle track in Brighton is open again for racing, 18 months after it was closed for safety reasons.

The velodrome has undergone a £150,000 upgrade including a new permiter fencing and gates.

It was closed to competitive racing in September 2014 over concerns about the safety of the track perimeter fence.

Originally built in the late 1800s, the Preston Park cycle track has been regularly used by several clubs based in the city for training and regional level racing. Cyclists across the city campaigned to bring the track back into competitive use as quickly as possible.

Cllr Alan Robins, deputy chair of the city’s economic development and culture committee, said: “Cycling is very popular in the city and the track is treasured by many local cyclists. We are all pleased to see this sporting venue restored and reopened in time for the summer months. Hopefully the velodrome will now draw cyclists and crowds for many more generations to come.”

John Mills, director of coaching, education and development at British Cycling, said: British Cycling is delighted to see the track at Preston Park reopening. We have been determined to ensure that this historic venue could again provide a safe environment for cyclists of all ages and abilities to learn, train and compete.

"The reopening is the culmination of the hard work that British Cycling have put in, alongside the council, to put together a funding package for the upgrading works that will safeguard the future of the facility. We look forward to seeing many more members of the local community taking full advantage of this traffic-free cycle facility.”

The total cost of the works was £148,000, most of which was funded by a grant award from British Cycling, with the remaining £38,000 coming from section 106 funding contributions from planning applications.

The work included replacing the perimeter fencing and gates as well as improvements to the site to bring it up to modern standards.

The velodrome has been officially re-opened by Pete Mitchell, a world champion para-cycling pilot who is a member of the Great Britain Cycling Team with aspirations to represent the country at Rio this summer.

Pete said: “My cycling career began at Preston Park, so I know from experience what a vital role the facility has played in the local community. I am thrilled to see competitive racing returning to the circuit again, and hope Preston Park continues to inspire people to take up the sport.”