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Public urged to chip in for £1 million bid to build velodrome and Highland Arena in Inverness

By Hazel Lawson

A CROWDFUNDING bid for £1 million towards a new indoor cycle track and sports centre for the Highlands is under way.

Highland Velodrome Trust (HiVelo) wants to raise the money over the next 12 months. It will go towards the indoor cycling track forming part of a Highland Arena sports and events centre, earmarked for Inverness Campus.

HiVelo revealed its plans at a public meeting at Inverness Royal Academy.

Around 60 people went along to hear the timetable for the project, which has a targeted completion date of January 2022.

A new group, Highland Arena Ltd, will also be established to take over from HiVelo and bring it to fruition.

Mike Greaves, secretary for HiVelo, said: “This is not only for elite cyclists, it will be great to bring on younger cyclists and get them going, and for those who want to get fitter. But this will be much more than a velodrome. There will be a multi-sports and activities centre catering for sports from table tennis to five-a-side football.”

HiVelo will embark on a series of meetings with community councils and other groups to generate more public support.

Olympic cycling gold medallist Katie Archibald, who is a staunch advocate for the project, was expected to speak at a meeting, however her car got stuck in snow at Glasgow and she was unable to make her train connection north.

She said: “It’s an exciting project and an opportunity to develop sport in the Highlands.”

A planning application is expected to be lodged in June.

Donations can be made via www.hivelo.org

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