07 January 2021The Project
You haven’t heard from us for some time, so I wanted to bring you up to date with the latest development in our velodrome project. It has been around 12 years since Mike first approached me with his idea of building an indoor track in the area. A lot has happened since then with many encouraging signs and alas also some disappointing setbacks. A lot of knowledge has been gained, on the way, about so many aspects of progressing a major project and also about track construction. We have forged valuable links with award winning LDN architects who, working with partner civil engineering companies, have produced and revised plans and costings at various stages and incarnations of our project. We have also built a relationship with Sander Douma the famous track builder, and have had him over to the Highlands to advise on the project.
Our original concept was the low cost velodrome, housing a 200 metre track, for which outline plans and business plans were commissioned. Around this time Highland Council was considering a multi sports facility at the Bught. They agreed to have an indoor 250 metre track as the flagship component of the development and planning was progressed. The project was entered in the City Region Deal application but alas when the deal was clinched the sports facility was no longer included. The Council was not able to proceed with the project without that finance. With LDN’s support we drew up plans for a scaled down and less costly version of what Highland Council had been planning, however the financial climate was against us and we moved on to look at a multi- sport facility on the Inverness Campus centred around a 200 metre track with possible links to the University.
Again, we were some way down that road when unfortunately, the University decided to steer a different course and we felt obliged to reconsider our strategy. That takes us to where we are now, the beginning of 2021. We have reverted back to our original concept of the low cost velodrome. A site at the new Inverness Airport Business Park is being looked at currently. Our architects are revising the original low cost velodrome plans and having the construction work estimated. It is difficult to be optimistic about the economy in the near future, so we proceed with that in mind. Using a warehouse style building, formed to the shape of the track will offer economies whilst retaining the facility function. Whilst indoor tracks normally need very sophisticated environmental controls to keep the track surface from warping, this will not be required in our facility. We will have an Accoya track surface. This is a long life, modified timber which has unsurpassed durability and stability. Sander Douma is giving 25 year guarantees with the outdoor tracks he is building with this timber. Apeldoorn, the 2018 World Championship venue has also been resurfaced with Accoya.
A pod is bolted on to the side of the building, containing the facilities like changing, toilets, storage, meeting rooms, lounge, Wattbike and weights studio, technician’s accommodation, kitchen etc. Staffing will be kept to a minimum, and trained volunteers will be used where possible and appropriate. To compliment the facility, in the grounds of the site we plan to have a closed road circuit of about 1 kilometre. The venue will be a cycling hub, a central focus for cyclists in the North.
We will try to keep you posted about developments. However, silence doesn’t mean nothing is happening because Mike Greaves in particular is doing a massive amount of ongoing work to advance this project. The pace has markedly increased currently in order to be prepared to make application to the Sport Scotland Cycling Facilities Fund which has made £8 million available to improve cycling facilities across the country.
07 January 20212021 AGM
In view of the Covid-19 situation, the Board decided not to hold the 2020 AGM. In line with the Charity Commisssions’ guidelines we will hold a virtual AGM during February/March, at which we will table a proposal to amend the constitution, permitting virtual meetings.
We did not ask for membership renewals this year past but are now reminding you that 2021 memberships are due this month. We are very grateful for your continued support. As you will appreciate from the later part of this update, the professional services, that we are obliged to engage, have to be paid for. Gift Aid is one source of revenue for us, so if you pay income tax or capital gains tax, I would encourage you to consider gift aiding your membership subscription so that Hivelo can benefit from a further 25 percent. Details are attached. To make it easy for you, forms do not need to be returned if you are renewing rather than joining for the first time, unless any of your details have changed or you are completing a standing order or a new gift aid mandate. The forms do contain bank information for direct transfer to Hivelo’s bank account, the secretaries address and email address. If you renew by bank transfer, and no other details have changed, just drop an email to the secretary advising your transfer.