Screen Shot 2015-09-15 at 15.09.56MIDDLESBROUGH’S new outdoor Olympic-size Velodrome is set to open as part of one of the region’s flagship sports complexes.

The £1.6 million track is the latest addition to the £21 million Middlesbrough Sports Village which is proving a major hit with grass roots sports enthusiasts and elite athletes alike.

The new facility – built with a £500,000 contribution from British Cycling and said to be one of the best of its kind in the UK – will officially open this Friday (September 18),

The Velodrome is the latest addition to Middlesbrough’s growing cycling offer, and sits next door to the existing 1km Cycle Circuit and nearby Prissick Plaza.

The 250m track will be used predominantly by affiliated clubs, creating a major opportunity for cyclists across the North East to train and compete at a top class facility.

Access to the Velodrome will be open to those with track cycling accreditation from any indoor velodrome in the country or either of the outdoor velodromes at York and Bournemouth.

Sessions must be supervised by a British Cycling Level 2 track specific coach, with riders required to use specialist fixed wheel track bikes and wear helmets at all time, and the track will also be available for hire by clubs and organisations.

British Cycling’s Coaching, Education and Development Director John Mills, said: “We’re delighted to see the construction stage of this project completed.

“With less than one year to go until the Olympic and Paralympic Games, having another facility of this standard reflects the great progress that has been made in cycling infrastructure here in the UK.

“It’s fantastic that British Cycling clubs are going to have access to the track and therefore increase the spectrum of activities they are able to offer.

“Building our network of facilities will also help to ensure that anyone who wants to get involved in the sport has an accessible and affordable location close-by with support from British Cycling qualified coaches.

“We saw after London 2012 how many people were inspired to give cycling a go for the first time and this is one of many projects that British Cycling is currently involved in to develop more cycling facilities across the country.”

Willmott Dixon Construction Operations Director Peter Gleave added: “We are immensely proud to have constructed Middlesbrough Sports Village, and handing over the Velodrome was the final milestone in this landmark project.

“Watching the British Cycling cyclists using the track for the first time and seeing their beaming smiles as they cycled round was a fantastic experience.”

Councillor Lewis Young, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive member for Culture, Leisure and Sport, said: “The Sports Village is an outstanding sports destination of regional significance, and the Velodrome is a fitting addition to one of the best facilities of its kind in the country.

“It will further cement our reputation as a centre of cycling excellence, giving more people than ever the opportunity get involved in cycling.

“The Velodrome will also be a centre for track cycle racing and is set to become a focal point for local, regional and national level competition.”

An introductory offer will enable Active Card holders to use the Velodrome for as little as £3.75 for adults and £2.40 for juniors, while non-Active Card holders will pay £4.40 and £3 respectively.

An interim programme of coach-supervised sessions will take place on Tuesdays and Fridays from 6pm to 8pm and on Wednesdays from noon to 1pm.

For further information about the Middlesbrough Sports Village Velodrome contact Scott Hydon on 01642 515625 or email scott_hydon@middlesbrough.gov.uk