Manchester Velodrome reopens after major refurbishment

21 September 2023

The Manchester Velodrome, located within the National Cycling Centre, has officially reopened its doors following an extensive £27 million refurbishment aimed at enhancing facilities and boosting sustainability in use.

Opened in 1994 as Britain’s first indoor Olympic cycling track, the Velodrome has been the training ground for numerous Olympic champions over the years. In 2021, it temporarily closed for a significant renovation primarily funded by Sport England with local and central government contributions. This initiative was part of Manchester City Council’s ambitious plan to position itself as the leading European capital of cycling by 2024.

Our specialists worked closely with Manchester City Council’s sustainability team to develop a road map for the Velodrome to achieve the Council’s ‘Climate Emergency Carbon Reduction Strategy’ which focuses on the delivery of carbon neutral buildings by 2038.

Led by Tim Davies, Director of Building Services, our sustainability-focussed design employed green technologies including heat recovery systems and new Air Source Heat Pump systems to reduce energy consumption and cut carbon emissions by more than 50%. These new improvements are expected to result in an annual reduction of up to 517 tonnes of carbon emissions.

The team used cutting-edge ventilation and heating solutions to meet the stringent climatic control requirements for the space. This includes meeting both the professional cycling body UCI-regulations and British Cycling’s requirements for variable climatic simulation. The engineering solution has unlocked the ability to provide a 365-day per year training facility for Olympic and Paralympic cycling teams. Cyclists utilising the Velodrome’s facilities will also experience improved comfort through the introduction of state-of-the-art fresh air ventilation systems.

The Velodrome’s centre court will host a variety of sports throughout the week, including badminton, futsal, netball, korfball and more. Its inclusive approach encompasses various cycling disciplines and multi-sport activities, enabling the facility to engage communities and residents of all ages and abilities with a world-class offering on their doorstep.

Councillor John Hacking, Manchester City Council’s Executive Member for Skills, Employment, and Leisure, expressed his enthusiasm in a recent statement: “The National Cycling Centre has been an unmistakable part of the city’s sporting skyline since Manchester hosted the successful Commonwealth Games in 2002 and it is great to welcome back the jewel in the city’s crown of world-class sporting facilities.”

Proud of Waterman’s involvement, Tim Davies said: “It has been very exciting for us to support the redevelopment of one of the most significant sporting facilities in the country. We’ve enjoyed working closely with the Council to align the revamped Velodrome with their climate goals, and this project has allowed us to push the boundaries of design, incorporating green technologies to significantly reduce both the operational and embodied carbon footprint. The Velodrome’s reopening marks a milestone in Manchester’s pursuit of a greener, more accessible, world-class sporting destination for all.”

Images courtesy of Manchester City Council.

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