Stickybottle

Government promises velodrome in 2021, €16 million set aside

Posted on: October 12th, 2017

Promise of velodrome in 2021, €16m set aside

The latest promise about a new Dublin velodrome involves construction starting in 2020 and the track being opened the following year. There are also claims €16 million has now been ring-fenced for the project.

 

Promise of velodrome in 2021, €16m set aside

 

The Fine Gael-led Government has said the new velodrome in Dublin will be opened in 2021. And it claims to have set aside €16 million specifically for the project.

It has been promised for the Abbottstown National Sports Campus in west Dublin for about a decade.

However, considering the time span of the promise now being made and the very many false dawns the project has witnessed, the latest development will be welcomed with caution.

The Department of Transport and Tourism announced the funding in haphazard fashion; at an evening press conference the day after the Budget.

There was no mention of the velodrome whatever in the Budget estimates – the State’s spending plans for next year – when they were unveiled on Tuesday.

Stickybottle asked Cycling Ireland about the absence of the velodrome from the Budget and chief executive Geoff Liffey said he was not surprised.

He suggested the funding for the velodrome would come from a Government mid-term capital review underway. And this was in line with what Minister for Sport Shane Ross had said recently.

However, last evening the Department of Transport and Tourism held a briefing on the Budget. And during that briefing, given by Ross and Minister for State Brendan Griffin, the velodrome promise was made.

It was said the velodrome construction would commence in 2020 and would be opened the following year. And it was said that €16 million had been set aside for the project.

However, it remains unclear whether that money was contained hidden in the Budget or whether the promise about the velodrome was effectively a leak of what will be in the midterm capital review when it is announced soon.

Stickybottle has sought clarity from the Department of Sport and Transport, which was awaited at the time of publication.

It should also be noted that the current Government is a minority administration. It is in office only because Fianna Fail has agreed to supply support for three Budgets, of which we have now had two.

Given that political instability, it is likely an election will take place before 2020. In that case, the next Government would need to honour the promise now being made in relation to the velodrome funding and construction timeframe.

The project is also dependent on the second phase of the National Indoor Arena being completed. Only when that work is finished will attention turn to the velodrome.

In short, there still seems a long way to go before the promise now being made results in construction commencing on the velodrome.

The velodrome will be a shared centre; Cycling Ireland and Badminton Ireland both involved in the project.

Unusually, neither Badminton Ireland nor Cycling Ireland has released a press release on the announcement.

This perhaps underlines the caution with which both organisations have greeted such big news emerging at a time when nobody expected.

However, when contacted by stickybottle and asked for comment, Geoff Liffey welcomed the announcement.

“This is a quite a significant advancement in the delivery of a much needed velodrome facility for Ireland,” he said.

“It will have a transformative effect for the sport in Ireland and will be complimented by the world class facilities and services available at the National Sports Campus site.”

 

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