A NEW £2m athletics track at the University of York is on track for completion by the end of the year with the appointment of contractor Thornton Sports.

The joint City of York Council and University of York-funded facility on the University’s Heslington West campus will boost athletics with a county standard outdoor track.

Specialist firm Thornton Sports Ltd said the track's surface which will use the same materials as the track they installed for the US Olympic Team at its Mile End Stadium training base in the run up to the 2012 Olympics.

The eight-lane track meets UK Athletics and IAAF standards, and the development includes a pavilion and covered seating for 500 spectators.

The firm's John Bennett said: "We are sure that the new facility will help to produce future medal winners, and also provide the platform for athletes of all abilities to participate."

The new track will be used by students and will give a home to City of York Athletic Club when it leaves Huntington Stadium between sporting seasons.

Chairman Neil Hunter said: "We are delighted that work has started on the new athletics facility as it will transform athletics in York for generations to come. We are also excited about working in partnership with the University, whose facilities are first class, as this will allow York athletes to reach their full potential. It is fantastic to see the City of York Council-supported project coming to fruition as specified."

The university's Vice-Chancellor Professor Koen Lamberts, added: “The new athletics track will provide a fantastic new resource for athletes in York including our students and local athletics club members. Together with other developments such as York Sport Village, with its competition standard pool, cycle track and new outdoor Velodrome, it demonstrates our commitment to ‘inspire activity’ and in doing so to promote the health and well-being of people across the city.”

Coun Sonja Crisp, council cabinet member for leisure, said: "This improvement to our city’s sporting infrastructure feeds into our commitment to give residents the facilities to try new sports, take regular exercise and excel in their particular fields."