After a consultation, Arena Racing Company (ARC) has announced that Belle Vue Greyhound Stadium will shut down with track workers due to redundancy.
Manchester track closure has been on the cards for some time after plans were accepted by a Manchester Planning and Highways Committee to close the Belle Vue Greyhound Stadium in December 2019, with the site planned to be used for housing.
As a stadium heavily dependent on attendance, catering and hospitality, ARC said the national shutdown had a ‘especially negative impact on Belle Vue, with racing behind closed doors clearly unable to sustain the business.’
Countryside Properties will oversee the growth of the site which will see the construction of 247 new homes, of which 14 percent will be reserved under an affordable housing scheme.
Completed in 1926, the facility is synonymous with East Manchester’s Belle Vue neighbourhood and its demolition is estimated to cause the loss of about 200 jobs.
Commenting on the closure, ARC’s Racing Division director Mark Spincer said: “The closure of Belle Vue Greyhound Stadium has been an incredibly difficult one to make, especially given the history associated with the Stadium, but our consultation on options moving forward could not see a manner in which the business could support itself.
“As stated previously, the effects of the national lockdown, alongside the significant uncertainty over when, and in what manner, crowds may be able to return has had a huge impact on Belle Vue in particular, given its reliance on public attendance.”
“We will continue to provide welfare support payments to the remaining Belle Vue trainers, not currently racing at other stadia, until the end of September, and assist with any homing requirements during that time.
“It goes without saying that we are very grateful to all of the staff at Belle Vue and everyone associated with the site for their hard work and loyalty over the years and throughout this process.”