HEREFORD'S athletics track faces losing its competition licence if action isn’t taken to refurbish its deteriorating surface.

The athletics track, on Holmer Road, was built in 1988 and during the past 34 years it has been a popular facility for athletes staging training sessions throughout the year and summer race meetings.

The facility is managed by Halo Leisure who are currently looking at funding options to cover the cost of a full surface replacement costing over £300,000.

Herefordshire County Track and Field Championship celebrated its 70th anniversary last weekend and Hereford and County Athletics Club its 60th Anniversary this year.

Hereford and County AC’s president Charlie Exton said it could be the last time the championships are held as by April 2023 the track is likely to lose its competition licence unless it is refurbished next winter.

"Currently the Hereford track is the only serviceable eight lane championship track within roughly a two hour drive of the city," said Exton.

"We need to be crystal clear about this, there is plenty of funding available if a funding vehicle is clarified, for example earlier this year £500,000 remained unspent on the Shop Local cards, there are other sources accessible, but the track is facing falling off a cliff.

"Large business within the county have Social Values funds as part of corporate compliance these days and informally are willing to help as are some charities and friendly societies."

The track has always been utilised by a number of clubs including Hereford Triathlon, Hereford Couriers, Hereford and County AC, Wye Valley, Western Tempo and the Ghost Runners, military personnel and families.

Exton, who raised the issue of refurbishing the track two years ago, added that having the thriving facility in Hereford is important for the city's economy.

"The upcoming investment in the track as a sporting asset will help support the county economically by attracting students to the university, and with track meetings last year hosting over 700 competitors and supporters from Wales and the Midlands the knock on benefits to shops, restaurants and hotels in the city has been significant,” he added.

Alex Haines, Halo partnership manager, said they have been meeting regularly with the local athletics club and other user groups to discuss its much needed resurfacing.

"In March of this year, Halo commissioned a specialist company to conduct a condition survey," Haines added.

"This will help to strengthen future funding applications which are needed to secure the over £300,000 for a full surface replacement.

"It is currently difficult for Halo to cover the cost and is working with English Athletics and other agencies to explore new funding streams."