Belle Vue Aces move to a new state-of-the-art National Speedway Stadium gathered pace today after Manchester town hall chiefs gave the green light for the ambitious development.
The plans will also include a National Speedway Academy, making Manchester a centre of excellence and encouraging greater youth participation in the sport.
Councillor Jim Battle, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council, said the centre offers opportunities to increase the area’s reputation for sport at the highest level.
“The Belle Vue Sports Village represents an opportunity to bring enviable, world-class sporting facilities to this area of East Manchester boosting grass roots sport, while attracting some of the world’s best athletes,” he said.
“In an economic climate where leisure funding is under pressure, this development underlines Manchester’s commitment to ensure top quality facilities for people across the city.”
The £10million development will offer a range of new facilities, including the modernisation of the existing Belle Vue Leisure Centre and a new 3G all-weather pitch.
It will be the ‘jewel in the crown of the council and of the city’ according to Withington councillor Simon Wheale at the council’s executive meeting.
The Aces will move 100 yards down the road when they move, with the major developments on land adjacent to Pink Bank Lane and Kirkmanshulme Lane.
Under the proposed plans, the 6,500-capacity speedway venue will have the potential for additional temporary seating which will enable International events to be staged in Manchester.
The prospect of Grand Prix and World Cup speedway could attract up to 80,000 visitors to the city, with the stadium providing an alternative venue to Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium.
Furthermore, the move would enable the Aces to compete at the highest standard, opening the opportunity for lucrative weekend race meetings.
The council’s decision delighted David Gordon, the club’s chief executive officer, with a provisional date of March 2014 set for the opening of the stadium.
“This is a red letter day in the long history of the club,” he explained. “It marks the start of a new era and gives speedway in Manchester a massive future.”
Chris Morton, the Aces chief operations officer, was equally pleased with the latest developments.
“I have dreamed of the Aces having a new stadium ever since the one at Hyde Road closed in 1987, he said.
“This is a brilliant day and the reward for so much hard work.”
Image courtesy of Belle Vue Aces, with thanks.