Track Cycling World Cup gold medalist Callum Skinner has warned Edinburgh council against making the "same mistake twice" following the revaltion of draft plans to demolish and potentially rebuild the city’s outdoor velodrome.
Meadowbank, the existing facility where Chris Hoy began his training, is set for demolition, with The City of Edinburgh Council tossing around a few ideas to replace the outdoor facility with something similar.
In an interview with the Edinburgh Evening News, Skinner warned the local authority that history will repeat itself, saying: “The current situation with Meadowbank is a velodrome that is crumbling and a track cycling community that is in decline. Meadowbank’s main problem since construction is that it is not protected from the elements. The City of Edinburgh Council seem determined to make the same mistake twice.”
Four proposals, planned for Hunters Hall in Niddrie, have been made public, none of which offer facilities protected from the UK weather.
Edinburgh’s culture and sport boss Richard Lewis has since suggested that the money for an indoor project isn’t currently available and that elite athletes would always head for the Glasgow velodrome.
He said: "We have £1.215m of funding set aside for this project so we must be realistic in our vision. We need to find an affordable solution that supports the majority of cyclists and learners. An indoor velodrome may be on the wish lists of some of the city’s professional cyclists, but the capital and revenue costs of an indoor velodrome would simply be unaffordable to the council at this time, especially when the indoor Chris Hoy Velodrome – which cost £100m to construct – sits just 40 miles to the west of the city.”
The plans will go before the Culture and Sport Committee for approval later this month.
Skinner has now further outlined his thoughts on Meadowbank in a blog piece here.