Heath’s athletics track to be saved with major refurbishment
- Credit: André Langlois
The athletics track in Parliament Hill has been given a fresh burst of energy, as a “significant investment” is announced to repair the struggling facility.
Staff at the City of London Corporation (CoLC), which manages Hampstead Heath, warned last year that if it failed to secure funding of up to £2 million, there was a “real risk” that the track would have to close.
The CoLC’s policy and resources committee has agreed to fund the resurfacing and refurbishment of the track, with work to begin shortly.
The facility is home to clubs including the Highgate Harriers and plays host to events such as the London Youth Games Cross Country Championships, the largest youth event in the country.
Highgate Harriers President, Chris Bailey, said: “Having worked in partnership with the City of London Corporation, Highgate Harriers are delighted with the Parliament Hill track refurbishment announcement.
"The long-term future of the track facility is now guaranteed and our club can continue to provide a wide local community sporting platform, from wellbeing fitness, to school engagement & international athletics.
"We look forward to working closely with City of London Corporation during the refurbishment period.”
Anne Fairweather, chair of the CoLC’s Hampstead Heath, Highgate Wood and Queen’s Park committee, said: "I’m very pleased that the City Corporation is making this significant investment in our athletics track. We are now able to take forward these much needed works and transform the facility at Parliament Hill.
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“Supporting sport on the Heath has never been more important as we are coming out of the pandemic.
“The track hosts a series of high-profile events from the Night of the 10 000 PBs, which attracts elite athletes, to school competitions. It is also home to clubs such as the Highgate Harriers and the Serpentine Running Club.
"These improvements will be extremely welcome to amateur and professional athletes alike.”
Ms Fairweather has announced she will not be standing again in the CoLC elections next month.