Delays to the opening of velodrome frustrate cycle firms across Derby

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By Derby Telegraph  |  Posted: January 14, 2015

By PAUL WHYATT

The impressive facade of the new Derby Arena – it looks great from the outside but no-one knows when they'll be able to get inside.

The impressive facade of the new Derby Arena – it looks great from the outside but no-one knows when they’ll be able to get inside.

CYCLING shops say they are frustrated that Derby’s new velodrome is yet to open.

The £27.5 million Derby Arena – complete with a 250-metre indoor cycle track – is set to open over the next few months, but an exact date has yet to be revealed by the city council.

Cycling stores say the opening cannot come soon enough as they are seeking to profit in a number of ways.

Some are hoping for a bump in bike sales and clothing, while others are looking to hire out the velodrome to host track cycling taster sessions.

They include Duffield bike shop Velo Bavarian.

General manager Gavin Slater said he was frustrated that the velodrome was not yet open, as he expects his turnover to increase once the arena’s doors are open.

He said: “The opening date has been ambiguous. I was there when Bowmer and Kirkland handed over the building and everyone was geared up for it opening a month later. That was three months ago.

“They need to open it soon because people’s interest can waver. We haven’t seen a massive rush for track bikes yet and that’s probably because no-one is sure of the opening date.

“I hope it happens soon. Our track bike sales will definitely increase and, if we let customers know we can also do repairs, that will also increase our business.”

Mr Slater’s firm is among those planning to hire out the velodrome in a bid to make bike sales.

“I want to hire out the velodrome for an hour to give customers some track experience,” he said.

“Track cycling is addictive, so we’d hope to sell more track bikes through doing that.

“I’ve taken a lot of Moda track bikes for hiring out. Our hope is that people will hire one out, like it and then come back and buy one.”

Phil Topliss, owner of Spondon bike shop Cyclo Monster, said he also expected his business to benefit from the velodrome.

He said: “There are a lot of people who are looking forward to it opening but no-one seems to know when exactly that will be.

“We’re in the process of launching a club and we’re hoping to get members together for a training session over there once it opens.

“What I’d look to do is hire the velodrome out for a couple of hours and get people down there for a training session.”

Other firms, such as Derby-based Moore Large – one of the UK’s largest distributors of bicycles and accessories – have already benefited.

The company, which operates from a 250,000 sq ft site at Sinfin Lane Industrial Estate, has provided 100 track bikes that visitors to the velodrome will be able to hire.

Paul Stewart, cycles director at Moore Large, said: “If you go on a taster session, 100% of the equipment will be supplied by us.

“We’ve supplied bikes, helmets, shoes and even track mitts. We’ve provided the full package.”

Managing director Nigel Moore said: “For us, it’s enabled us to raise the profile of our business within Derbyshire, and it’s going to give us a tool to attract customers and suppliers to Derby and our business.

“In terms of the impact it will have on our turnover, you’ll have to come back next year and see what’s done for us. It can only be positive.”

A spokeswoman for the council said that, ahead of opening, there was still work to be done on staff recruitment, training and cleaning.

 

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