London

Former Olympic velodrome reopens for 125th anniversary

Charles Bazzano (left) is followed by Reg Harris Image copyright Topical Press Agency
Image caption The Herne Hill Velodrome hosted the cycle events during the 1948 London Olympic Games

A historic velodrome used in the 1948 Olympics has reopened on its 125th anniversary following extensive renovation.

Crowdfunding and £750,000 of National Lottery cash has supported the building of a new pavilion at the Herne Hill Velodrome.

The Velodrome was where Tour de France winner Sir Bradley Wiggins began his cycling career.

The 450m cycle track was recently granted a 99-year lease.

Hillary Peachey, Chairman of the Herne Hill Velodrome Trust, said she was "immensely proud" of the project.

Image caption The Herne Hill Velodrome has re-opened following the third and final stage of it's renovation

Ms Peachey said "it has been a long journey" but that the "community came together" to help re-furbish the facilities dilapidated pavilion.

The new stand, which was built using materials from the old structure, includes changing rooms, first aid room and club room overlooking the site.

Image copyright We Are Sports
Image caption The original pavilion had fallen into a state of despair
Image copyright Carl Ison
Image caption The new pavilion utilises six of the original 1890's decorated cast iron columns to support the grandstand roof

Before the 2012 Olympics a deal was reached between British Cycling and the owner of the site, Dulwich Estate.

A new games area, junior cycling track and lighting system were added to the south London site.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Five-time Olympic gold medallist Sir Bradley Wiggins began cycling at the track

It is now hoped the improvements will see more people using the venue throughout the year.

Charles Johnston, Director of Property at Sport England, said: "The new pavilion will help position the velodrome as a first-class venue ideal for everyone in the local community and beyond."

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