Velodrome roofing plan backed

By john.maslin@wanganuichronicle.co.nz

1 comment
Grant Smith
Grant Smith

Support for the bid to roof Whanganui's velodrome has received a boost with a neighbouring mayor saying it was both a regional and national asset.

Palmerston North Mayor Grant Smith was presenting his council's submission to the Whanganui District Council's 2016-17 Annual Plan hearings this week and said his council supported the concept.

Mr Smith said the velodrome was strategically placed to serve a population of more than a million in the lower North Island but he urged the Whanganui council to put it into its annual plan.

"I know you have bigger priorities to deal with but this project should still be very high on your agenda," he said.

Mr Smith said others in the Manawatu region and beyond supported the concept and it was that sort of regional support which would "unlock" more backing for the project.

The Regional Velodrome Roofing Group (RVRG) is promoting the project and estimates close to $6 million will be needed to cover the Cooks Garden wooden cycling track.

He said Napier was looking at building a velodrome of its own but that was a $15 million project compared to the $5.8 million to roof the Whanganui track.

"There's only room for one more velodrome in the country and that's why Whanganui is so well placed to take advantage of an existing facility.

"Palmerston North certainly can't build one so the only way to get one is to team with Whanganui and it already has," Mr Smith said.

Bob Smith and Leigh Grant, representing the RVRG, also made a submission and said without roofing the hardwood track would probably only last another four years.

Mr Smith said they were currently preparing a business case but it was obvious there was wide regional support for the project.

"Once roofed and the deck has time to dry out properly, there's no reason why the track wouldn't last for another 25-30 years," he said.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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