Velodrome work continuing

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26/07/2019 12:30:00 p.m.

26 July 2019

Whanganui District Council is continuing work to determine the scope, viability and cost of putting a roof on the Whanganui Velodrome.

In late 2018 Sport New Zealand undertook a peer review of plans and information relating to the development of the velodrome as a regional multi-sports and community recreation facility. The review was requested by the Project Control Group, which is made up of representatives from the Council and the Regional Velodrome Development Trust.

The peer review recommended further analysis and information would be needed to ensure the proposed solution being proposed responds appropriately to the needs of our region, and is affordable and sustainable throughout the life of the asset.

Councillor Philippa Baker-Hogan, Chair of the Project Control Group, says based on the peer review’s recommendations the group has engaged an independent specialist to undertake a needs analysis to get a clearer picture of potential users of the venue.

This work is due to be completed in late August 2019. The next step will be to prepare a revised Feasibility Study that clearly articulates scope, proposed spend, use and operating costs of the upgraded velodrome.

The Council’s Chief Executive, Kym Fell, says the Whanganui Velodrome is a strategic asset for the Manawatu-Whanganui region and acknowledges the importance of Council support to protect the facility.

“However, roofing the velodrome will require significant funding from central government. In their peer review, Sport New Zealand clearly explained the need for evidence-based data to support any funding applications,” Mr Fell says.

“Our community, region and central government must be satisfied that this is an affordable project and will be sustainable throughout the duration of its life. In addition, our community expects the Council to be prudent around large capital expenditure.”

Timeline

1995 – The existing uncovered velodrome at Cooks Gardens was built.

2006 – The Government identified cycling as one of six areas of high-performance sport for funding. The Council assembled and supported a working group to investigate roofing the velodrome.

2007 – A working group presented a feasibility study to the Council. The study found the velodrome centre was sufficiently viable to justify further investigation and a concept design report was prepared giving options for a multi-use high performance cycling centre and events centre, based around the Cooks Gardens velodrome.

2010 – The Government announced it would undertake a major re-shaping and expansion of high-performance sport in New Zealand. The Government then tasked a High-Performance Board to advance the Cycling Centre of Excellence, which they did by a competitive tendering process.

2011 – Tenders for the Cycling Centre of Excellence closed in February 2011 and Whanganui submitted a tender. The Whanganui bid was unsuccessful.

2014 – The Raise the Velo Roof Team (RVRT) Regional Velodrome Development Trust (RVDT) was established to investigate the cost of roofing the velodrome without any embellishments for the sole purpose of protecting the asset.

2017 – The Regional Velodrome Development Trust (RVDT) was established. RVDT investigated options for raising funding to meet the cost of roofing the velodrome without additional embellishments, as well as other options to partially or fully enclose the velodrome, and making it suitable for a variety of other purposes as well as cycling.

2017 – Whanganui District Council Annual Plan allocated $1M to roofing the velodrome.

2018 – The Council established a Project Control Group (PCG) made up of representatives from the Council and the Regional Velodrome Development Trust to progress the velodrome project. The PCG commissioned Sport New Zealand to complete a peer review of the feasibility study and business plan for the roofing of the velodrome based on the existing scope, design and costs produced over time. The peer review recommended that further analysis and information would be needed to ensure that the proposed solution responds appropriately to the identified needs of the Whanganui District, and is affordable and sustainable throughout the life of the asset.

2019 – Based on the recommendations of the peer review, the PCG engaged an independent specialist to undertake a Needs Analysis to get a clearer picture of potential users of the venue.

This work is due to be completed in late August 2019. The next step will be to prepare a revised Feasibility Study that clearly articulates scope, proposed spend, use and operating costs of the upgraded velodrome.

Page reviewed: 26 Jul 2019 12:30pm