Tooting Bec Athletics Track refurbishment set to begin within weeks

Published: Tuesday, March 1, 2022

The refurbishment of Tooting Bec Common’s athletics track has cleared a major hurdle with the appointment of a specialist contractor that’s set to begin work on upgrading the running track within weeks.

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Having previously approved a budget in excess of £500,000 for the project, Wandsworth Council has now cleared the final step required in the awarding of contract which will see the sports facility’s running surface completely replaced and modernised - with works due to get underway in the middle of next month (March).

The timing of the contract award and the start of work should ensure the track is available for use this summer by local schools, sports clubs and its semi-professional tenants Herne Hill Harriers Athletics Club.

The track is a local, regional, and national resource which caters for individual athletes, school and club competitions and provides for community use, sports development and competitive athletics. Herne Hill Harriers have been based at the track for over 80 years and coach local athletes from grassroots level to Olympic standard.

In 2019/20 more than 83,000 people visited the venue with around half of those using the running track. Ten schools use it on a regular basis, with a further 42 using it for school sports days.

It boasts:

▪ Floodlit eight lane running track with sprint facilities
▪ Internal steeplechase runway
▪ High jump fan inside the track, including a javelin runway
▪ Shot putt circle
▪ Double ended long jump/triple jump runway
▪ Double ended pole vault runway
▪ Hammer/discus cage
▪ Seating for 400 spectators
▪ A pavilion with fitness studio, fully equipped gym and changing rooms.

The track is one of two council-owned athletics venues in the borough. The other is located in Battersea Park at its Millennium Arena.

Wandsworth Council’s community services spokesman Cllr Steffi Sutters said: “This is great news for local schools, sports clubs and of course Herne Hill Harriers. Work will begin within weeks on delivering a brand new and fully upgraded running surface fit for all track disciplines up to Olympic standard.

“Unlike some boroughs which don’t have even one high quality running track, here in Wandsworth we are lucky to have two. We fully recognise the important role they play in developing young talent which is why we judged it vital to deliver the funding needed to replace the track and safeguard its future.

“It is therefore testamant to the prudent financial planning and management of our town hall budgets that allows the council to fund this important upgrade in our sporting infrastructure and continue to provide a top-quality facility for our budding young athletes.”