New Belle Vue Stadium

PLANS for Belle Vue to have a £6m dream new home were revealed this week.

The Manchester Evening News reported speedway’s best kept secret that the Aces have been holding talks for two years to move just 100 metres along Kirkmanshulme Lane in Gorton.

The club race at the Belle Vue greyhound stadium but negotiations for a move into a state-of-the-art arena at the Council-owned hockey facility next door are understood to be at an advanced stage.

The Aces have been in discussions with senior executives at Manchester City Council and the New East Manchester authority which has been driving a massive regeneration of the area for almost ten years.

Representatives of the parties involved confirmed that talks were in progress but were reluctant to expand.

Aces’ boss David Gordon said: “The only thing I will confirm is that we have been in discussions with Manchester City Council for some time.

“We have discussed various options. That is the only comment I can make at this moment in time.”

A spokesperson for New East Manchester said: “Some discussions have taken place and there are a number of options being considered, all of which need to be thoroughly evaluated.”

The planned stadium would make Manchester into a World speedway venue as Britain needs a modern facility capable of staging a variety of top international events.

The stadium could attract World class FIM events to Manchester to enhance the city’s already major reputation for holding top competitions with its positive effects on jobs, hotels, restaurants and bars.

The initial capacity is planned at just over 7,000, with 2,600 people seated in a covered main grandstand.

But this figure could be increased with temporary stands to 16,000 to cater for international events if required.

The Aces, the oldest and most famous speedway club in the World with an 82-year unbroken history, are eager to complete negotiations

Pride of place at the stadium would go to a custom built 340-metre track incorporating the best features of the world’s top racing circuits, including the famed Hyde Road racing strip which closed in 1987.

The new arena would be multi purpose as the grass area in the centre of the track would be used for hockey so it could also stage stadium quality sport throughout the year.

It means there will be enhanced facilities for top hockey events at the stadium which staged the Commonwealth Games competition in 2002.

There is also a strong community aspect in the project as the club already have strong local links, especially with schools. Plans also include function rooms, which would cater for up to 400 people, and a residential youth academy to be used for speedway related courses.

There has been interest from other boroughs, such as Tameside and Salford, into giving the Aces a new home but there is a strong local desire to keep the club where it always has been in East Manchester.

The club opened at the Kirkmanshulme Lane greyhound stadium in1928 before making the short move to the custom built and much loved Hyde Road stadium a year later.

The Aces rode there until 1987 when the complex was sold for redevelopment and they returned to Kirkmanshulme Lane a year later.

Allan Grafton, chairman of the influential Gorton 100 Committee which campaigns for the preservation of the area’s identity, said: “The people of Gorton want Belle Vue to stay in the area.

“This project is absolutely fantastic and deserves the support of all politicians to ensure it comes to fruition.

“The Aces are part of Gorton’s history and a high proportion of the organisation’s support comes from this area and has done for decades.”