Priority building works on the National Cycling Centre in Manchester have been brought forward due to the risk of “catastrophic failings” owing to the Velodrome’s age.
According to a detailed planning application approved by Manchester City Council, building works will include concrete repairs to external walls, steelwork repairs to remove rust on the frame of the building, as well as replacing several parts of the roof and all suspended ceilings.
These fundamental structural repairs come alongside substantial replacements and technological improvements.
The lighting system and CCTV will be replaced with modern, digital versions, and a new digital screen and track timing system will be installed.
The seating, lights, sanitary facilities and central flooring are all set to be upgraded, although the track itself, itself recently updated, will need to be protected and accessed during the extensive work.
About The Velodrome
The Velodrome, first opened in 1994, is considered to be one of the crowning legacies of the 2002 Commonwealth Games held in Manchester and has been credited for being a major part of Great Britain’s ascendancy in the world of cycling.
The stadium is highly popular among cyclists, being one of the busiest velodromes in the world and seeing action every day of the week.
Part of the reason for this is its surface and banking, that have led to over 15 world records being set inside the velodrome, whilst the other is being one of a very small number of Olympic-standard velodromes.
The track is 250 metres long, with 42-degree banking from the racing line to the top of the racing surface.
Whilst the entirety of “SportCity”, the staging ground for the 2002 Commonwealth Games has seen continued use, the most important legacy for the host city has been the velodrome.
At this event, England won 165 medals, including 54 gold medals as well as five silver and six bronze medals in cycling.
For comparison, at the most recent Olympic games in 2016, Team GB won 12 medals in cycling and 13 medals in cycling at the 2018 Commonwealth games.
Given its popularity for international events, the required repairs have become even more vital.
End Of Life Complications
The report described the renovations as critical for securing the Velodrome’s long term future and viability for international events.
Much of the infrastructure is reaching the end of its expected life, with significant investment needing to take place with 15 years to ensure the building was still viable.
For Manchester City Council, the owners of the building, it was less a matter of if but when the repairs would take place. Initially, the work was halted whilst Manchester prepared a bid to host the 2022 Commonwealth games.
In the end, as Birmingham became the host city for the event, the Council brought forward the repairs.
The structural repairs to the concrete and metal frame will take priority, and formed the core of the application. Metal corrosion on a load-bearing framework could lead to a collapse, and this was part of why the application was approved so quickly.