Plans to build Ireland’s first ever indoor velodrome are up in the air – despite planning permission being granted in March 2013.
The €8m facility at the National Sports Campus on the outskirts of the capital Dublin was approved by Fingal County Council 20 months ago.
The project had already secured funding for the planning and design stage and after the ratification by the council sought finance to begin construction.
Cycling Ireland, the sport’s governing body in the country, put the scheme out to tender last year but no one, as of yet, has been forthcoming with the required monies.
What appears to have stalled the project is the Government’s latest budget.
“Unfortunately, in the budget that came out a few weeks ago, there wasn’t a specific capital allocation project for next year,” Geoff Liffey, Cycling Ireland’s CEO, told the Irish Times.
The setback means that that the velodrome is now facing a race against time to be built before the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, a target that was originally set when the project was approved.
There is optimism, however, that the velodrome – which would feature an Olympic-standard 250m track – can get the go-ahead.
“It is disappointing. We remain confident it can be done in the future, but next year there appears to be a degree of consolidation on the capital side for sports facilities. So there is no significant advancement,” Liffey added.
It is estimated that once – if – work begins, it would be completed within a two year time frame.
Cycling in Ireland is currently experiencing a renaissance with 2013 scratch race world champion Martyn Irvine coming out of retirement to race for the country’s Pro-Continental outfit Aqua Blue Sport, and young time triallist Ryan Mullen riding to fifth at the World Championships for Ireland.
Nicolas Roche, son of Ireland’s most famous cyclist Stephen, has signed for BMC Racing from Sky for 2017.