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MIDDLESBROUGH is to have a velodrome as a key feature of the town's new Sports Village.
The £1 million facility has been made possible thanks to a partnership between Middlesbrough Council and British Cycling.
The 250m Olympic-length velodrome will complement the popular 1km Cycle Circuit at Prissick and further cement the Sport's Village's appeal as a centre of regional importance.
Work on the Sports Village – off Marton Road – is due to start next month with the athletics track and temporary changing expected to be in place by October and the first phase of the development due for completion the following May.
It is expected work on the velodrome will also start later this year, with the first cyclists using it next spring.
Tony Hodgson, Chair of British Cycling North East Region, said: "A new velodrome for aspiring track cyclists inspired by the exploits of our Olympians is tremendous news for the sport in the North East.
"Track cycling is fast, fun and anyone of any age can take part.
"The region has been without such a facility for too long, with all of our youth track development taking place far away, either in Manchester or Glasgow, at considerable cost to local people and demand on volunteer time.
"We already have a number of qualified track coaches in the region who support the existing programme.
"The board of British Cycling North East are determined to help the Council make this fantastic new facility a success, whether it is in supporting existing riders in training and competition, or new riders wishing to experience the thrills of riding a banked track.
"Once the building work has been completed, we will work with the Council to develop a full programme of events to showcase this exciting part of the sport to the full."
Welcoming the announcement, Middlesbrough Mayor Ray Mallon said: "It is essential that the Middlesbrough Sports Village has the sort of facilities we know people want, and the inclusion of a velodrome has been high on the agenda from day one.
"The aim from the outset has been to create an iconic sports destination of regional significance, and the velodrome will help to ensure it is a centre that attracts people from Middlesbrough and beyond for many years to come."
Follow Middlesbrough Council on Twitter: @MbroCouncil