Updated: Wednesday, 23rd January 2019 @ 10:59am

Time capsule at start line will provide peek into the past at new Belle Vue sports village

Time capsule at start line will provide peek into the past at new Belle Vue sports village

| By Andrew Greaves

A ceremonial time capsule has been placed in the ground at the start line of the new National Speedway Stadium, which is part of the development at Belle Vue.

The capsule – that will be dug up and opened in 50 years – contains objects from the wide-ranging partners involved in the development as a lasting celebration of the project, and as a snapshot of the local area for future generations to uncover.

It was buried yesterday and contained articles from each of the partners, including: Manchester City Council; The Belle Vue Aces speedway team; main contractor for the site, ISG; Eastlands Trust; Sport England; England Basketball; and St Peter’s High School.

SEE YOU IN 50 YEARS! (Pictured l-r) Manchester City Council's Ann Taylor, Belle Vue Aces CEO David Gordon, MCC's Jeff Jones and Chris Smith, ISG Cllr John Hughes, MCC’s local member for Gorton North, and Chris Morton (front) help bury the capsule 

Each partner – Manchester City Council, The Belle Vue Aces speedway team, contractors ISG, Eastlands Trust, Sport England, England Basketball and St Peter’s High School – chose objects that are special or important to their organisations’ history or will be interesting to future generations as a symbol of the time it was buried.

These included photos, programmes, badges, school ties and even bolts used in the construction process.

Cllr Rosa Battle, Manchester City Council’s executive member for culture and leisure, said: “Time capsules really capture the imagination.

“I love the idea that future generations will have the opportunity to dig it up and get a glimpse of what the area was like and get a feel for the community that was using it – especially when it comes to a site that is being wholly transformed like the Belle Vue Sports Village.”

Historically one of the city’s most popular leisure and tourism sites, the creation of Belle Vue Sport Village will revive the area’s standing as a major landmark in the city – with top facilities for both community and elite users.

EXCITING TIMES: Belle Vue, the world's oldest and most famous speedway club, are being recognised by the National Speedway Academy who are making Manchester a centre of the sport's excellence

The development will bring world class significant national centres for both speedway and basketball to Manchester – along with a new National Speedway Academy that will look to develop the next generation of riders.

David Gordon (main picture), Chief Executive of Belle Vue Aces, said: "We are extremely proud to be involved with this exciting event. With our many years as the world’s most famous and oldest speedway club, and the fact our entire history has been made at this special location in Manchester, makes this event even more significant.

“We sincerely hope when the capsule is opened in 50 years’ time and the contents are viewed by the fans and community they will see a little of where the Belle Vue Aces came from.”

The development will also see two new 3G artificial grass pitches and a programme of modernisation to the Belle Vue Leisure Centre. The improvements will support a new programme of community rugby league and football, as well as provide St Peter's RC High School with state of the art facilities for curriculum and extra curriculum PE and sport.

The purpose built speedway venue – boasting a 1,842 seat grandstand – will be capable of hosting both national and international race meetings, attracting some of the world’s best riders to east Manchester.

The National Speedway Stadium will be a facility of national and international significance and will provide a new home to historic Belle Vue Aces, who currently share the existing track with greyhound racing.

NUTS AND BOLTS: Just some of the items that will be placed in the time capsule

The National Speedway Academy will also make Manchester a centre of excellence, encouraging grass roots development of new local speedway talent. This will include riding, technical and mechanical skills in both a practical and classroom setting. 

The National Basketball Performance Centre will include three high performance basketball courts, including a FIBA standard show court with a capacity for 2,000 seats.

The centre will be home to a number of Basketball England's national teams and will be suitable for training camps as well as international games and tournaments. The centre will also host regional and national Basketball England events, and will be home to a new community programme for players of all ages and abilities.

Work on the multi-million pound scheme kicked off in March.

Images courtesy of Mark Waugh, with thanks.