The Velodrome at the National Cycling Centre reopened this weekend after £27 million of works to improve its facilities and green credentials – becoming the UK’s first all-electric Velodrome.

  • Monday 4 September 2023

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ID: Image shows Manchester's circular velodrome's interior

All areas of the National Cycling Centre have benefitted from the major investment from Manchester City Council, Sport England and Central Government.  

All areas of the National Cycling Centre have benefitted from the major investment from Manchester City Council, Sport England and Central Government.  

The National Cycling Centre (NCC) now boasts more modern, efficient, and sustainable features which will support local pathways to participation at all levels from community to elite cycling programmes. The NCC also plays a big part in the city’s busy leisure calendar and is a site where many local community groups train.  


UK’s first all electric Velodrome 

The move is part of the Council’s programme to cut carbon emissions from its buildings, contributing towards the wider drive for Manchester to become zero carbon by 2038 or earlier. 

Sustainability has been at the heart of the Velodrome’s refurbishment and there have been a number of other green energy technologies implemented to reduce the centre's overall carbon footprint. With the use of heat recovery systems, as well as a new Air Source Heat Pump , and solar panels, the centre is expected to save up to 517 tonnes of carbon emissions per year. 

The National Cycling Centre is part of a network of world-class sporting facilities that showcase the Council’s commitment to sport and health. Cyclists who practice in the facility will also be able to benefit from new fresh air ventilation systems, which create a more comfortable environment for riders. This means riders can reach their optimum training levels and enjoy riding the Velodrome regardless of their ability. 


Local community benefits  

The Council also hope that with the investment into sporting facilities, residents will be encouraged to lead healthier lifestyles, and look after their physical and mental wellbeing. In recent months, the Manchester Aquatics Centre was upgraded and, other leisure centres across the city are benefitting from investment to ensure that residents have access to the latest and advanced facilities.  

The facility will additionally return as the home of local clubs, who host training and competition programs from the site. Through a wide-ranging, accessible Velodrome, BMX, MTB and multi-sport programme, the facility will connect communities and residents of all ages and abilities to a local world class offer.  

The current programme caters for every ability level from toddler to elite with over 50+ coached sessions across the BMX and Velodrome Track each week. There’s a wide range of sessions for the community including toddlers gaining their confidence on Balance Bikes. Women Only, Learn 2 Ride and cycling sessions for all ages who have additional needs making cycling accessible for everyone, the National Cycling Centre is committed to ensuring that its world class facilities are available to all.   

In addition, multiple sports are played throughout the week on the centre court within the Velodrome track. This ranges from Badminton, Futsal, Netball, Korfball and many more. A range of community groups access these facilities on a weekly basis and are enjoying their return to the centre following the refurbishment project. 

This latest investment ensures the complete protection of all existing programmes, classes and services, delivers essential upgrades to all areas of the Velodrome and secures its place as the preeminent Velodrome in the UK for the next 20 years, as both the spiritual and physical home of the National Governing Body ‘British Cycling’, and the Great British Cycling Team as well as being the UK’s first-all electric Velodrome. 

The reopening of the Velodrome and the NCC comes shortly after Manchester City Council has formally submitted a bid on behalf of the city of Manchester to become the ACES European Capital of Cycling for 2024. This bid is the culmination of years of work which has seen a hugely ambitious expansion of cycling in both Manchester as well as the entire Greater Manchester region.  In September the city will welcome a delegation from ACES Europe, who will decide the winning bid to become the Capital of Cycling, to meet with city partners and set out the city’s ambitions to become a great cycling city. 


Councillor John Hacking, Manchester City Council’s Executive Member for Skills, Employment and Leisure, said:  

“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. 

“The Velodrome is not only a space where elite athletes train, but also a world-class facility that is open to residents and local clubs. We want our communities to benefit from having state-of-the-art facilities on their doorstep and I’m delighted that the Velodrome and the National Cycling Centre are open again so everyone can get cycling.  

“In recent months, the Council has been investing in its sporting facilities such as the National Cycling Centre and Manchester Aquatics Centre. We hope that the revamped facilities will encourage our residents to embrace active lifestyles that can benefit both their physical and mental wellbeing.” 

British Cycling CEO, Jon Dutton, said: 

 "We’ve been proud to call Manchester and the National Cycling Centre our home for almost three decades, during which time the facility has established itself as both a world-leading elite training base for our Olympic and Paralympic riders and a vibrant community hub. 

“Having both the best in the world and absolute beginners riding on the same tracks is one of the things which makes the facility so unique and inspiring, and we’re incredibly thankful for the support of Manchester City Council and other partners to ensure that it continues to be a treasured community asset for many years to come.” 

Yarv Abbas, Interim Head of Manchester Active said: 

“The Velodrome is a massive part of the iconic National Cycling Centre, and the facility remains as one of the most important legacy outcomes of the 2002 Commonwealth Games in the successes of GB Cycling Squads. 

"We look forward to welcoming back a thriving events programme with both national and international reach, and significant economic value to Manchester.  We also look forward to supporting grass roots cycling provision that will take place weekly on the Velodrome, BMX Track and the Clayton Vale Mountain Bike Trail” 

Ian Harkins, Head of Service for GLL in Manchester said: 

"We’re absolutely delighted to be marking the culmination of the project work at the National Cycling Centre and what better way to do this than by showcasing the fantastic range of activities that are available to residents. 

"We hope to see as many people from our local communities as possible coming along and seeing for themselves what programmes we have in the Velodrome and in the BMX Arena as well as outdoors on the Mountain Bike Trails at Clayton Vale and Platt Fields. It’s really important to us to get the message out there that these are facilities for the community as well as the place where GB athletes train. We’re incredibly fortunate in Manchester to have world-class facilities that everybody can enjoy together.” 



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