Velodrome idea is on the agenda in Leeds

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Councillors in Leeds are set to discuss an ambitious call for the construction of an Olympic-standard velodrome.

Coun Brian Cleasby (Lib Dem, Horsforth) has floated the idea for a scheme he says would be the perfect way of capitalising on the huge success of the Tour de France Grand Départ and Tour de Yorkshire.

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He wants council officers to start investigating funding opportunities as well as looking at potential sites across the entire Leeds City Region for the indoor cycling centre.

Coun Cleasby’s suggestion is on the agenda for discussion at a full meeting of Leeds City Council taking place next Wednesday, July 8.

And although he acknowledges it is very early days, he is convinced there is scope for a development that would rival the high-profile velodrome already operating in Manchester.

He said: “It is pretty obvious that there is an enormous appetite for cycling in this area and I want to build on that.

“People might say it is far-fetched but if Manchester can do it, then there is no reason why we can’t do the same – or better. Let’s get a debate started.”

An estimated 1.5 million people lined the streets of Leeds and the rest of the county for the Tour de Yorkshire cycle race in May.

Last year’s Tour de France Grand Départ, meanwhile, is said to have been worth £100m to the White Rose economy.

The white paper motion tabled by Coun Cleasby for next week’s meeting asks the council to congratulate all those involved in the events – and in particular their figurehead, Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive Sir Gary Verity.

The local authority areas that make up the Leeds City Region are Leeds, Wakefield, Kirklees, Bradford, Calderdale, Harrogate, York, Selby, Craven and Barnsley.