Cycle firm defends council for spending £28m on arena

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  • Nigel Moore, managing director of bicycle distributor Moore Large, says the council should be praised for its foresight in spending millions of pounds on the city’s new velodrome, describing it as an ‘inspired choice’ as it will pull in people from all over the country.

  • Nigel Moore, managing director of bicycle distributor Moore Large, says the council should be praised for its foresight in spending millions of pounds on the city’s new velodrome, describing it as an ‘inspired choice’ as it will pull in people from all over the country.

  • ONE of the UK’s largest distributors of bicycles and bike accessories has defended the city council for spending millions of pounds on building Derby Arena.

The £28 million venue will host high-level cycling events, basketball and volleyball games and double as a concert venue.

He said: “It’s a great piece of foresight to make it multi-use. Whoever came up with that idea has scored big because it means it won’t take long to make back the £28 million. It won’t just be the concerts. It will be things like seminars and graduation ceremonies that help make the money back.

“It’s fair to say Derby has been crying out for something like this for years and years.

“The thing that excites me is if you look at the other velodromes in the UK, they are incredibly difficult to get to. The arena in Derby is just off the M1. It is an inspired choice as it will pull in athletes and enthusiasts from far and wide.”

Paul Stewart, cycles director at Moore Large, agreed that the council’s investment was justified.

He said: “I don’t think the council will be worried about paying it back. The popularity of the velodrome will continue to be huge. The one in Manchester has a waiting time of four months and London’s is five months. The same will happen here.”

“There is a drive within Derby to make Derby the first ‘sports city’ in the UK. I think the investment, not only in the arena, but in new facilities at the university as well, is all part of a drive to make Derby a bigger and better Loughborough.

“That brings with it a huge amount of business opportunities.”

Earlier this month, council leader Ranjit Banwait defended spending £28 million on the project at a time of cutbacks.

He said: “It’s a balancing act between keeping front-line services going but not losing sight that we’ve got to offer hope for the future.”

The Labour councillor also insisted the money that has been spent on the arena could be used to fund services.

An exact date for the arena’s full opening has yet to be revealed by the city council, although it is expected to be during the spring.

Cycling stores in and around Derby 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.

Mr Banwait said the delay in opening the venue was down to “getting things right”. He said: “Projects like this are very complex and require a great deal of work.

“I know there’s a great interest from people to get this open and look around. That’s great – to create that bit of anticipation is not a bad thing.”

 

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