KIDDERMINSTER-based MEP James Carver is backing a campaign to build a velodrome in the West Midlands in time for Birmingham’s hosting of the Commonwealth Games in 2022.

The UKIP Euro MP said he was “delighted” to see talented Kidderminster cyclist 14-year-old Kinga Ingram raising the profile of the online petition calling for a facility in the region.

Mr Carver said: “Birmingham 2022 have previously said the cycling event would take place in London and they have concerns about compliance and economic viability of building a velodrome.

“But the arguments for such a facility are compelling and not to have one would amount to a huge missed opportunity for Birmingham, the region, for cycling and cyclists, other sports and the wider community.

“An indoor velodrome would not only enable our cyclists to be at the heart of the Commonwealth Games experience but would also encourage more people to take up cycling and create a multi-purpose venue for other sports and various non-sporting events.”

Almost 5,000 people have signed the petition and a cross-party group of MPs have lobbied British Cycling calling for a velodrome to be built in the region as the nearest one is in the East Midlands at the Derby Arena.

Mr Carver added: “It seems unfair that other parts of the country have indoor Velodromes, and yet, even as we look forward to hosting a competition as big as the Commonwealth Games, there are no plans to rectify the anomaly.

“All the West Midlands has is the 70-year-old outdoor track at Halesowen, which is great for grassroots track cycling, but we urgently need a modern indoor track to enhance cycling as a sport and as part of a healthy lifestyle.”

Kinga, aged 14, who is ranked fifth in the country for her age group told last week’s Shuttle she believed a velodrome closer to home would “inspire” other Wyre Forest youngsters to take up the sport.

Mr Carver, who is writing to Sports Minister Tracey Crouch urging support, said: “Well done to Kinga for raising the issue locally - I hope people will sign the petition - and I wish her every success in her cycling and in her bid to compete in the Birmingham games.”

A Birmingham 2022 spokesperson said: “We have yet to formally announce the complete sports and venue line up. We anticipate doing this in the coming months.

“When deciding on venues and locations for all sports, a full and rigorous evaluation has been carried out, looking at existing local venues, followed by an examination of regional venues where suitable local options do not exist, and finally any facilities further afield where there are no local or regional options.

“As part of its bid process Birmingham explored other regional velodrome options as well as new and temporary facilities, but the options were neither compliant nor economically viable. We hope that the existing velodromes in the UK, including Derby Arena, are able to play a role as training venues.”