The Parliament Hill Athletics Track is a wonderful asset and one of the many great sporting facilities on the Heath. 

It’s been here on the south side of Parliament Hill since 1939, and the current track that you now see was laid out with its floodlights in 1978. It is made up of an all-weather, eight-lane synthetic track, a commentator’s box, changing rooms, an outfield, and facilities for field events. 

The home base of the Highgate Harriers, it is used by schools, clubs, and professional athletes, as well as professionals in the making.  

Since 2013, the track has hosted the Night of the 10,000m Personal Bests - a unique sporting event, organised by Highgate Harriers and staffed by volunteers. It will return this year on May 13.

Ham & High: William Upton KC is excited about changes planned for the Parliament Hill Athletics Track (Image: City of London CorporationWilliam Upton KC is excited about changes planned for the Parliament Hill Athletics Track (Image: City of London Corporation (Image: City of London Corporation)

This fantastic event showcases world class athletics and has become an important fixture for long distance running in the UK and a fun free event for spectators.

The track also hosts many school sports days, club sessions and other varied events.

With this in mind, I’m delighted to announce that major improvement works, which have been in the pipeline for a few years, are scheduled to take place this summer.

Thanks to a £2 million investment from the City of London Corporation, the improvements will ensure the athletics track remains one of London’s best community track and field facilities inspiring generations of budding track and field athletes.

The entire track will be resurfaced so that it meets the highest standards. Improvements to the existing floodlights are also part of the plans and the proposed new LED lighting design will give more flexibility. 

These new lights will continue to meet the standards for our events, but can be adjusted and turned down for the evening track meets which take place regularly.

They will also point down more directly onto the track, reducing light pollution, and will be more energy efficient, in line with the City of London Corporation’s Climate Action Strategy.

We are planning an open day at the track in March and the date will be advertised soon. Please do come along if you would like to hear more about this exciting project.

William Upton KC is chair of the City of London Corporation’s Hampstead Heath Management committee