Derby Arena

Derby Arena is a landmark venue that inspires participation in cycling, whilst encouraging people of all ages and abilities to take part in a diverse range of leisure activities and events. It forms part of Derby City Council’s ambitious leisure strategy to encourage active lifestyles and to increase participation in sport.

Our design is founded on the principles of flexibility and inclusivity. The multi-purpose arena accommodates a 250m cycling track, 12 court sports hall, fitness centre, as well as event space capable of supporting a year round calendar of entertainment. As well as setting new standards for leisure facility design, the Arena’s flexible programme is bringing a wide range of visitors to the city.

Landmark multi-purpose velodrome and arena

Derby, England

15,000m² (GIA)


Derby City Council

May 2013 - October 2014

February 2015

Historically velodrome operators have wrestled with the problem of low occupancy; too few were able to use all the facilities at one time. With years of experience in velodrome design, we have developed smart solutions to address this – creating inspiring and sustainable facilities.

Mike Hall
Partner, FaulknerBrowns

Accessing the infield

Traditionally, facilities for cycling have been inward facing, and the amount of users able to utilise the facility at one time has been low in relation to the size of the building. Dedicated Velodromes have tried to address this by finding uses for the vast infield space cut adrift by the track. Where the infield has found other uses, access to and from the space has been difficult, with complex arrangements of ramps and tunnels required.

Raising the cycle track to first floor level at Derby Arena has allowed unimpeded access to the central infield from ground level, without compromising cycling activities. Enough space has been created to accommodate a sports hall large enough for 12 badminton courts, or a combination of sporting activities including netball, volleyball, fussball and table tennis.

Derby Arena Velodrome 2D Section Drawing L

In addition, the flexible infield is now suitable to host a diverse range of events for up to 5,000 spectators in a variety of configurations. This opens up the facility to an even broader section of the local community, provides a more varied entertainment offering and ensures long term commercial sustainability of the arena.

Since the opening of Derby Arena, the infield has accommodated several pantomime productions, graduation ceremonies for students of Derby University, national boxing and cycling events, National Badminton League matches, as well as various musical performances and sport participation events.

Inspiring participation

The world-class velodrome, together with the flexible design of the infield areas, means that its primary objective of encouraging people into physical activity with a particular focus on cycling, has been exceeded.

RICS East Midlands
Project of the Year 2016


  • IOC IPC IAKS Architecture Prizes 2017
    IOC IAKS Bronze Award
  • IOC IPC IAKS Architecture Prizes 2017
    IPC IAKS Distinction
  • RIBA East Midlands Awards 2016
    RIBA Regional Award
  • RICS East Midlands Awards 2016
    Project of the Year
  • RICS East Midlands Awards 2016
    Design Through Innovation
  • RICS East Midlands Awards 2016
    Tourism and Leisure
  • East Midlands Property Awards 2015
    Construction Project of the Year
  • LABC East Midlands Awards 2015
    Best Public Service Building
  • Structural Steel Awards 2015
    High Standard of Design Achieved
  • Brighter City Of Derby Awards 2014
    Best New Build