Site meeting may decide future of sports arena

THE race to develop a prestigious new sporting centre in the north of England is set to go right to the wire.

As previously reported British Cycling is looking seriously at Brighouse as one of two preferred locations for a velodrome for track racing and training.

If the Brighouse lobby wins that race then it would put the town on the international cycling map and bring in millions of pounds of investment.

Members of pressure group United Brighouse, among them former chairman Ken Langford, met with British Cycling bosses to further press their case.

It was agreed that the key next step would be a meeting on the site at Brookfoot. That is due to take place early next month.

“It was an extremely positive meeting,” said Mr Langford. “And the fact that British Cycling, which had its chief executive present at our meeting, wants to visit the proposed site has got to be seen as a step in the right direction.”

The scheme is viewed as part of British Cycling’s long-term plan to create a legacy for the sport beyond the 2012 Olympics.

If successful the development could form a major attraction at the centre of a new Yorkshire Velopark and could also lead to new facilities being created for football, canoeing and athletics.

British Cycling is believed to have money earmarked for the scheme which must be used before 2013.

“We are now at the stage where British Cycling has identified two prefered sites and Brighouse is one of them.”

If the pitch is successful match funding will be needed to drive the scheme forward and United Brighouse will be looking at sponsorship from local businesses.