Ireland has moved a step closer to having its own indoor velodrome after Fingal County Council today granted planning permission for a state of the art new track to be built at the National Sports Campus in Abbotstown.
The velodrome, which will have a 250m track, will mean that Ireland can begin to organise major international events on home soil for the first time. The track will circle 15 badminton courts – which is great news for Badminton Ireland as it continues to develop its high performance programme. The development will also feature office space, meeting rooms and other facilities, as well as ample car parking space.
The €8m project is the latest success for the sports campus, which continues to develop high standard facilities for Irish athletes across a wide range of sports. A major extension to the Irish Institute of Sport has begun, while work will shortly commence on the National Indoor Arena, which includes a running track, and is expected to be completed in 18 months.
Ireland’s record in track cycling over the last four years has been impressive, with cyclists such as Martyn Irvine and Caroline Ryan earning international recognition for their success. The development of a velodrome will allow current and future Irish stars to be able to remain based here and to avail of the increased resources now at Cycling Ireland’s disposal on the campus.
As with any of these facilities, the track will be dual purpose – giving our elite athletes greater opportunities to train and improve, while also being available to the public and so increasing participation levels in the sport. The same will apply to the badminton courts when they are completed.
The former Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Leo Varadkar, put funding in place last year to get the project to the planning and design stage, and the campus authority will now set about securing funding to commence the development.