Media release
Regional Velodrome Development Trust
12 April 2021

Trust submitting a velodrome solution to Council

The Regional Velodrome Development Trust (RVDT) plans to submit to the Whanganui District Council that while they want to see Whanganui’s existing velodrome covered, it does not agree with any of the three options presented in the WDC Draft Long Term Plan.

Instead, the trust proposes a reduced option which will still enable use of the centre for local, national and international cycling events, recreational activities and other sports and activities.

The trust’s submission will provide details of two options which could be considered by council, with costs ranging from $21.95 m to $25.6 m.

The council says its preferred option’s cost ranges from $18 to $22 million. The Trust does not agree that a “fit for purpose” solution which enables the range of use required can be provided for this cost range, and believes it is worth considering the additional investment to achieve this.

The trust’s chair, Leigh Grant says: “ We did not agree on all aspects of the review the Council commisioned, including the estimated cost. However, we noted council’s concerns about cost and asked independent experts to look at how the design could be reduced. “

The estimated cost for a reduced, but still ‘fit for purpose design’ was provided to council prior to the release of the Long Term Plan options for the velodrome.

“After looking at all types of options since 2007, we still believe that a tension membrane roof will allow more uses for the velodrome than the council commissioned steel structure design, where centre poles restrict use.

Usage is important as it enables more income from a variety of users and increases the external funding options which will be required to supplement council investment.”

The latest costs for developing a tension membrane covered velodrome come from professional quantity surveyors, BQH, who are very familiar with the work done so far.

Mr Grant says: “ The options enable different types of uses, but provide flexibility for future growth if required, which is not the case for the council commissioned steel structure. The trust’s preference is for the $25.6 m build which would enable wider use because it would have a level central area, attract more income from users, and providing more certainty for the full business case which is required to attract external funding.

“Given the work already completed, including an approved resource consent, construction could begin by the end of 2021 and completed within 24 months.”

Mr Grant says: “Time is of the essence, given the deteriorating state of the existing track, so the sooner work is started the better. The extended timeframes in the draft LTP, which anticipates construction would start in 2023/24, would see further deterioration of the existing velodrome framework, including trusses under the track, and prove more costly as time passes.

“Whanganui cannot afford to lose this community owned asset. This is why the trust has invested so much time and energy, as well as community sourced funds, to provide a solution with Council, which will enable a significant opportunity to gain back our reputation in the world of cycling and provide our community an all-weather venue for a wide range of recreational activities, currently not available in Whanganui.”

Long Term Plan submissions to the council close on April 30.
Submissions will be considered by the council in May and a decision on a proposal is expected in June.

For further information please contact:
Leigh Grant
Chair,
Whanganui Regional Velodrome Development Trust
Telephone: 027 642 0002
Email leigh.grant@xtra.co.nz