St Albans Athletic Club has taken over the management of the Abbey View Athletics Track to ensure its long-term sustainability.

The facility in Verulamium Park, owned by St Albans City and District Council, will now be operated by the newly formed Abbey View Community Athletics Track (AVCAT), a charity established by the club.

The arrangement is paving the way for a long-term lease, which is expected to be settled in the coming months.

AVCAT now manages the bookings, events, and maintenance of the facility through an online portal, aiming to streamline the experience for both new and regular visitors.

The council has meanwhile provided temporary bathroom facilities and a storage container for equipment.

Track users will also have access to changing rooms at the nearby Westminster Lodge Leisure Centre.

Recently, the pavilion building was condemned due to safety concerns, leading to some fears about the long-term preservation of the site.

Built more than 50 years ago, the pavilion roof had degenerated, posing a threat to users.

Consequently, the demolition is planned for an undetermined date.

Chris Traill, the council's strategic director for Community and Place Delivery, said: "The enforced closure of the Pavilion combined with the difficult financial climate we are faced with as a council, resulted in some anxiety about what would happen to the track in the long term.

"We are therefore delighted to have reached this milestone agreement with Abbey View Community Athletics Track which will ensure a bright future for this fabulous facility.

"It means the day-to-day management of the track is now in the hands of local people who have used the track for many years and love the sport of athletics."

The revered track opened in 1971, initially managed by Everyone Active, the council's leisure contractor.

It underwent resurfacing five years ago for £186,000, upgrading to championship standards.

Peter Poulain, chair of Abbey View Community Athletics Track and St Albans Athletic Club said: "St Albans was recently quoted in the Sunday Times as a classy place to live with a vibrant running community.

"It is essential to provide a facility open to the local community to help improve and maintain their health and education."