South Wiltshire athletes will soon be able to compete and train on a first class facility thanks to team work from key partners.
Following long discussions between the four organisations involved in securing the future of Salisbury’s only running track, it was announced today that consensus has finally been reached on a new, 10 year agreement.
Wiltshire Council, South Wilts Grammar School, The City of Salisbury Athletics and Running Club and Salisbury City Council all recognise the valuable contribution that each has made to the long-term sustainability of the track, which will provide a first class facility for both the school and all members of the community for years to come.
Work on resurfacing the track will begin in July 2019 and is expected to take 10 weeks. As well as the track resurfacing, the works will see an improved layout for field events, ensuring compliance with current UK Athletics standards including the provision of disability access, plus the introduction of a discus cage and electrical supply to the finish line which will enhance timing.
Through its usage agreement with the school, the volunteer-led athletics club will now be able to increase access to the track and to go on developing opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to engage in the sport.
John Thomson, Wiltshire Council cabinet member for leisure has been instrumental in facilitating the discussions.
He said: “I am delighted that thanks to key parties working together to move this project forward we are on track to have a first class facility for athletes of all ages and abilities. The Salisbury Athletics Track is the only one of its kind in the south of the county and the only track in the county that enjoys such a significant level of community access. The willingness of the school to enable access to their land and manage the facility, together with a significant amount of funding contributed by Wiltshire Council, will ensure that the school, the community and importantly the City of Salisbury Athletics Club and Running Club has a valuable and accessible sports facility for at least another 10 years.”
Chris Child, Governor, South Wilts Grammar School said:
“We are immensely grateful to Wiltshire Council, Salisbury City Council and the City of Salisbury Athletics and Running Club for providing the necessary funding to allow us to go ahead with replacing the school’s ageing athletics track.
“This funding has also secured its long term future and in addition to our own use and use by other schools, it will allow us to make available an excellent sporting facility for use by the wider community, particularly the club.
“Furthermore, our funding agreement with Wiltshire Council and the license agreement with the club will also provide a regular income for the school which will enable us to fund its upkeep throughout its life.
“This is great news for both the school and Salisbury!
“Salisbury City Councillor, Sven Hocking said “We are delighted to provide the final piece of funding to support the development of this excellent new facility. As a great believer in the benefits of sport for all ages and abilities I encourage everyone to make full use of what will be a superb new site and look forward to seeing the end product in use for the benefit of the school and local community.”
Athletics club president Dave Amey added: “It’s great news for Salisbury and beyond that the future of our home track for the past 26 years is now assured for a further decade.
“We believe that enabling continued access to the track for every child in the city and across South Wiltshire – one in ten of the children involved have some form of disability – is a vital part of the way the club looks to an inclusive future within the community.
“Salisbury today is in the midst of a running boom among adults too, embracing the most modest of newcomers to aspiring Olympians and fully fledged internationals.
“With the new agreement in place, the track’s return to full use will allow our club coaches and teams of volunteer helpers to go on broadening the benefit we know the sport can offer.”
South Wilts Grammar School has provided the land on which the track is built and will provide the management responsibilities of the facility. Wiltshire Council has provided £154,650 of funding; the City of Salisbury Athletics and Running Club will pay to the school £7,500 towards relaying the track and Salisbury City Council and Salisbury Area Board have each provided contributions of £20k.
It is planned that the City of Salisbury Athletics and Running Club will pay usage fees of an estimated £110k over a 10 year period that the school will put towards maintenance costs. The school will not make a profit from usage fees.
further information from:
City of Salisbury Athletics and Running Club