Stadium plan moving along at top speed
5:30am Wednesday 23rd April 2014 in By Dominic Gilbert
WORK could start within weeks on the new speedway track at the Abbey Stadium.
The final position of the stadium in north Swindon is yet to be confirmed, but will be just feet away from the exisiting building.
The owners of the building are keen to proceed with as little disruption as possible, and will wait until next year’s speedway season finishes beore making the final transition.
Clarke Osbourne, chief executive of Gaming International, which owns the stadium, said the project has been progressing rapidly.
“There has been a flurry of news recently as Persimmon should be starting work on phases one and two within a few weeks,” he said.
Planning permission for the site was approved earlier this year, and the developers are now making sure everything is in place.
“They have completed the detailed planning and we are currently on course for a physical start on site in the autumn,” added Mr Osbourne.
“It will take to build, fit, test and move the stadium 12 months in total, and that gives us a target of autumn 2015.
“We have had to put a lot of work into the layout, design and positioning of the new stadium because it needs to be finished and operational before we close the existing one. The two facilities will be within 10 feet of each other, so we have had to rearrange the whole site accordingly.
“We have got a contractor appointed and we are currently in the beginning of the process for our reserved matters. They cover the design, layout and physical positioning.
“We estimate that process will take us through to the end of August and while they will already be on the site by this point, work proper should start by the end of September.
“This is a relatively straightforward process but a lot of factors are outside of our control. All of the things need to be laid out in terms of drainage capacity and where the building is finally positioned.
“We are not anticipating any problems but we need a bit of flexibility in the programme.”
The stadium will be designed to be as attractive as possible for television sponsorship, and the company are looking to enhance the town’s reputation for speedway on the national stage.
“We have specifically designed camera stations which offer a clear view of the track and there will be an interview area,” said Mr Osbourne.
“Swindon already has an international reputation for Speedway so the new stadium will enhance that.”