THE UK’S oldest cycle track will welcome back competitive cycling for the first time in almost two years this weekend following a £160,000 makeover.

Preston Park Cycle Track will once again see bike wheels turning as it hosts cycle racing for the first time since its closure in September 2014.

Campaigners who have worked to save the track, which is the second oldest in the world, welcomed the news but said more work was needed to create a sustainable future for the venue.

A charity fundraising bid to raise around £100,000 for floodlighting is expected to be launched in the upcoming weeks which could be supported with additional funds from British Cycling.

The venue will host the Youth Omnium on Sunday from midday before the Wednesday night track league resumes from 7pm on May 18.

The two events will be running weekly while a second track league will run on Friday nights.

Rupert Rivett, from Save Preston Park Cycle Track, said: “Everybody is very happy about competitive cycling returning to the track and the event is already fully booked.

“The steering committee are set to finalise at a meeting later this month setting up a charity.

“We’re looking to get lights at the track so it can be used at night and during the winter.

“We need to make the track sustainable so it doesn’t fall apart, it will always need work doing to it.

“If we have the lights, cyclists can come off the roads during the winter and use the track to train and we can look at maybe raising revenue.

“British Cycling have invested in the track and now have an interest to see it go from strength to strength.”

The future of the track, which has been used by double Olympic gold medal winner Laura Trott, was thrown into doubt following its closure over safety concerns.

A campaign was launched to save the venue and a petition submitted to Brighton and Hove City Council attracted more than 4,000 signatures.

Work to fit safety fencing around the track has been carried out at the start of the year after funding was made available by the council and British Cycling.

Signs will also be installed at the venue discouraging people from playing other sports on the historic cycling venue.