Barnoldswick bike manufacturer eyes £2.5 million velodrome (from Craven Herald)

from Craven Herald

Hope Technology co-owner Ian Weatherill wants to build a velodrome Hope Technology co-owner Ian Weatherill wants to build a velodrome

A West Craven cycling parts manufacturer has unveiled a plan to build a £2.5 million velodrome in Barnoldswick.

Bosses at Hope Technology, on Calf Hall Road, have spoken with Pendle Council planners this week about their desire to build what could become the UK’s sixth indoor velodrome on a brownfield site behind the firm’s current location at Hope Mill.

The building would be two stories, with a 200-metre track on top and a research and development facility for the company on the bottom.

Ian Weatherill and Simon Sharp are co-owners of Hope Technology, which is known for manufacturing mountain bike parts, but Mr Weatherill said the new velodrome would allow the firm to develop the road biking side of its business.

“It’s not a commercial venture and we wouldn’t make any money on it – we’re doing it because we love cycling,” said Mr Weatherill.

“We want to use it to develop our business and have it used by others. We would love to do this for the people of Barnoldswick and the surrounding area.”

The company currently employs around 100 people and Mr Weatherill believes building the velodrome could create 20 more jobs.

However, the proposed Barnoldswick facility would be nothing like the London Velopark or the new Chris Hoy Velodrome in Glasgow, which both cost over £100 million to build.

“They were ludicrously expensive,” added Mr Weatherill, who said both facilities were designed with spectators in mind.

He said a high quality track, made out of Siberian pine, would only cost around £500,000 with most of the remaining money being spent on the building itself.

Hellifield-based firm Sutcliffe Construction would construct the building and Hope has been working with German velodrome track designer Ralph Schuermann.

Mr Weatherill, who hopes to build the velodrome within the next two years, said: “It would be nice to have a velodrome for the public.”

He said because so many professional cyclists use the training facilities at the Manchester Velodrome there is often a six-month waiting list for cycling clubs or members of the public.

Mr Weatherill said that Barnoldswick is an ideal place to build a velodrome because cyclists could use the facility for training and they would then be able to go out to the surrounding countryside.

“They’re some beautiful rides from here,” he said, adding: “It would bring people to the area. When you build a track like this, you’ll end up with some fantastic riders coming here.”

He also that said that a velodrome could result in a future Olympian coming from Barnoldswick.

“When facilities are built in a certain area, it can lead to people becoming Olympians because having something like this available can bring people on.”