The first and only concrete velodrome in the UK : 570m³ of concrete

Cyclists are flying around the historic 405 metre track built by GD Harries and Sons, at the Carmarthen velodrome – thought to be the first and only concrete velodrome in the UK.

The £500,000 structure has been re-laid more than 100 years after its original opening in 1900. Several surface types were tested by cyclists before the decision to lay a concrete track was made. And as one of Wales’ largest independent civil engineering companies, GD Harries were selected as the sole contractor for the project.

One of the benefits of choosing a concrete track, is that it enables cyclists to travel at higher speeds than velodromes constructed from other timber or synthetic materials. But laying concrete on an inclined surface did not come without its challenges!

Our team were tasked to come up with a method of pouring the concrete on a slope without gravity redistributing it before it set. Senior Quantity Surveyor, Richard Burton, explains “The shape of a velodrome has no horizontal or flat areas; even the straits are slightly inclined, so laying concrete is quite challenging.”

“We had to come up with a method of getting it accurate and making sure the concrete stayed where it was supposed to. We achieved it by pouring the concrete into a series of bays, continually moving from the bottom to the top of each bay as we poured.”

only concrete velodrome
Carmarthen velodrome

GD Harries have six concrete batching plants, including one at Carmarthen, which made us the ideal choice for the project. Our concrete is quality assured, with each of our plants being accredited to use the BSI Kitemark for the design, production and delivery of ready-mixed concrete to British and European standards. We can also offer concrete pumping, so concrete can be delivered exactly where it is needed.

570m³ of concrete was poured into the track, which is expected to last 50 years. Besides cycling, the velodrome is a popular venue for fun fairs, concerts and is also home to the Carmarthen Quins Rugby Club. The previously condemned facility still has the original grandstand, bandstand and lodge and the refurbishment has really put Carmarthen Park on the map, enabling it to be turned into a training and competition venue for cyclists.

Resurfacing of the velodrome was a collaborative project funded by Carmarthen Town Council, Carmarthenshire County Council, Sport Wales and Welsh Cycling and is used by the public and by local cycle team Towy Riders.

The concrete velodrome was officially opened by Carmarthen Mayor Councillor Alun Lenny, who praised GD Harries for our fine work. Mr Lenny said, “We have worked very closely with the local cycling community and the wider national cycling bodies to ensure that the new cycling surface will be fit for purpose and will be of the required standard that will allow national and possibly international competitions to take place once again in Carmarthen.”

With special thanks to for the photos.

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Carmarthen velodrome
Carmarthen velodrome