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Management of Abbey View Athletics Track handed over to St Albans Athletic Club to secure its future

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The management of Abbey View Athletics Track has been taken over by St Albans Athletic Club to ensure its long-term future.

St Albans City and District Council, which owns the facility in Verulamium Park, has agreed a deal with the club’s newly-formed charity Abbey View Community Athletics Track (AVCAT).

AVCAT’s volunteer workers will seek to raise funds for improvements to the track including a new Pavilion.

They are now operating the track with the details of a long-term lease to be determined within the next few months.

AVCAT is already overseeing bookings and events, using a website to deal with enquiries from new or regular users.

The Council will provide temporary toilets, which are already on site, and an additional container for equipment storage.

Changing rooms at nearby Westminster Lodge Leisure Centre are available for track users.

The deal follows the Council’s decision to close the Pavilion Building which had reached the end of its life.

Constructed more than 50 years ago, the Pavilion roof is made from Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete panels that have deteriorated and pose a safety risk. The building will be demolished at some later date.

Opened in 1971, the track was previously managed on the Council’s behalf by leisure contractor Everyone Active.

The six-lane 400 metre track, along with an eight-lane 100 metre section and event area for field sports, was resurfaced five years ago at a cost of £186,000 to bring it up to championship standard.

Chris Traill, the Council's Strategic Director for Community and Place Delivery, said:

The enforced closure of the Pavilion, combined with the difficult financial climate we are faced with as a Council, resulted in some anxiety about what would happen to the track in the long-term.

We are therefore delighted to have reached this milestone agreement with Abbey View Community Athletics Track which will ensure a bright future for this fabulous facility.

It means the day-to-day management of the track is now in the hands of local people who have used the track for many years and love the sport of athletics.

And it means they will be able to raise funds for the future development of the track, an endeavour that we will support as much as we can. 

We are convinced this handover to a community charity is in the best interest of our residents and the sports clubs and schools which use the track.

Peter Poulain, Chair of both Abbey View Community Athletics Track and St Albans Athletic Club, said: 

This isn't what we had expected, but we are excited at the prospect of managing the track as a group of volunteers.

St Albans was recently quoted in the Sunday Times as a classy place to live with a vibrant running community and we feel it is essential to provide a facility open to the local community to help improve and maintain their health and education.

We cannot thank enough St Albans Striders and the local schools and clubs for their work in the project so far and Everyone Active and Council Officers for their support.

Replacing a 330 square metre Pavilion building is no small task, so if you feel you can offer help with the design and build of a new pavilion, do contact us.

Picture: Team mates Lily Tse (left) and Kate Dixon compete at the Abbey View Community Athletics Track.

Media Contact: John McJannet, Principal Communications Officer, 01727 819533,