Salisbury’s only running track has been put under a new 10-year agreement, ending a long-running dispute over its use by local runners.
Wiltshire Council, South Wilts Grammar School, City of Salisbury Athletics and Running Club and Salisbury City Council have agreed the facility can be used by the school and all members of the community under the new agreement.
Re-surfacing of the track begins in July and is expected to take 10 weeks. The work includes an improved layout for field events, ensuring compliance with current UK Athletics standards including disability access, introduction of a discus cage and electrical supply to the finish line to enhance timing.
Through its usage agreement with the school, the volunteer-led athletics club can increase access to the track and develop opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to engage in the sport.
Chris Child, Governor, South Wilts Grammar School said:
“The necessary funding will allow us to replace the school’s ageing athletics track and secured its long term future. In addition to our own, and other schools’, use, we can make available an excellent sporting facility to the wider community, particularly the club.
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 another decade.
“We believe that enabling continued access to the track for every child in the city and across South Wiltshire – one in 10 of the children involved have some form of disability – is vital.
“Salisbury today is in the midst of a running boom among adults too, embracing modest newcomers and aspiring Olympians and fully-fledged internationals. Under the new agreement, the track’s return to full use allows 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. Salisbury City Council and Salisbury Area Board have each provided contributions of £20,000. The Running Club will pay usage fees of an estimated £110,000 over a 10-year period which the school will put towards maintenance costs. The school will not make a profit from usage fees.