Wind­fall for velo­drome

Whanganui Chronicle - - Front Page - Zaryd Wil­son

The bid to put a roof on Whanganui’s velo­drome has had a half-a-mil­lion-dol­lar boost. The $500,000 grant from the Whanganui Com­mu­nity Foun­da­tion comes just as the Raise the VeloRoof group pre­pares to open the fa­cil­ity up to the com­mu­nity for its Let’s Get Ac­tive day.

From 2pm on Sun­day the group has in­vited the com­mu­nity to check out the fa­cil­ity and take part in a range of ac­tiv­i­ties in­clud­ing walk­ing, skat­ing, Velo X, moun­tain bik­ing, bal­ance bikes, trikes and track cy­cling.

The idea is to give peo­ple a taste of what the fa­cil­ity could be used for fol­low­ing the planned re­vamp.

Leigh Grant, from Raise the VeloRoof, said the idea came from the Whanganui Com­mu­nity Foun­da­tion when it was con­sid­er­ing the group’s ap­pli­ca­tion.

“They sug­gested a lot of the ac­tiv­ity we talk about hadn’t re­ally been demon­strated,” he said.

“So Sun­day is all about demon­strat­ing what can be done and it’s quite im­por­tant that we get our mes­sage across to show peo­ple.”

Grant was “very pleased” with the

con­tri­bu­tion from the Whanganui Com­mu­nity Foun­da­tion to what will be a re­gional fa­cil­ity and was now wait­ing to get a $6 mil­lion Gov­ern­ment con­tri­bu­tion con­firmed.

Just months be­fore com­ing Prime Min­is­ter last year, Jacinda Ardern com­mit­ted to the $6m grant, orig­i­nally pledged by the pre­vi­ous Na­tional Gov­ern­ment, if elected.

“She said in no un­cer­tain terms the money was locked in,” Grant said.

The group has been talk­ing to Fi­nance Min­is­ter Grant Robert­son to set up a meet­ing and Grant was hop­ing for a Gov­ern­ment an­nounce­ment early next year.

“We just want to progress that be­cause, I guess, it’s like a domino ef­fect. If we can get the con­tri­bu­tion from the Gov­ern­ment then we will at­tract a whole lot of oth­ers.”

Grant said about $3m of the $12m needed had been raised, not in­clud­ing the Gov­ern­ment’s ex­pected con­tri­bu­tion.

An artist’s im­pres­sion of how a roofed velo­drome will look.

Leigh Grant

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