Councillors will meet to consider plan to revamp Tooting Bec Athletics Track

Published: Thursday, November 18, 2021

Councillors will meet next week to discuss a proposal to invest £527,000 in replacing the running surface at the Tooting Bec Athletics Track.

Share this

Councillors on the community services and open spaces overview and scrutiny committee will meet on November 25 to consider a report that proposes the replacement of the track in the early months of 2022 – with a view to completing the project in time for the start of the main athletics season.

The track is approximately 35 years old and is of a non-porous synthetic surface. Although it has been carefully maintained and repaired over the years, it is now reaching the end of its life expectancy.

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. It is the home to Herne Hill Harriers athletics club, which has been based at the track for over 80 years and has coached and supported athletes from grassroots to Olympic standard.

The athletics venue on Tooting Common offers the following:

▪ 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.

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

The report written by the town hall’s Director of Environment and Community Services Paul Chadwick urges members of the committee to support the proposal, concluding: “Such investment is considered invaluable in ensuring access to good quality standard facilities, encouraging our residents, especially our young people, to engage in sports activities.

“The track at Tooting Bec Athletics Track requires to be replaced to ensure it continues to provide facilities for the wider community, ensuring facilities are available to support the sporting continuum from grassroots to Olympic level and providing opportunity to access quality facilities to achieve the possible.”

Tooting Bec Athletics Track is one of two council-owned athletics tracks in the borough, with the other located at Battersea Park Millennium Arena.