The future of the oldest track in the UK, Belle Vue was thrown into further doubt yesterday with the announcement from their leaseholders, ARC (Arena Racing Company), stating that a consultation process is under way at the Manchester venue.
Racing is currently suspended at Belle Vue and a statement on the future was expected in August but Arc chose to make a statement yesterday and it doesn’t make for good reading.
The statement reads:
“Arena Racing Company (“ARC”) can today confirm that a consultation process on the future of Belle Vue Greyhound Stadium is underway.
The suspension of greyhound racing, due to the coronavirus outbreak, has caused significant damage to the business over recent months, alongside the uncertainty over a number of other factors and the granting of planning permission for housing development at the site in December. Whilst no concrete decision has been made as to the future of the business, ARC will undertake a formal consultation with staff over the coming weeks.
ARC has been the leaseholder of Belle Vue Stadium since October 2019 and ongoing efforts are focused on exploring the options available for the site.
The canine welfare support package that has been in place during the lockdown will continue for all trainers still associated with Belle Vue throughout this consultation period.
Managing Director of ARC’s Racing Division, Mark Spincer, added “Due to the hugely damaging effects of the suspension of racing, we have decided to enter this period of consultation with staff over the future of Belle Vue.
“Whilst no firm decision has been taken as yet, we must explore every avenue which, sadly, could include closure of the site. We will go through this process with staff over the coming month, after which we will be able to offer a further update on the business.
“During this consultation period, we will continue our support payments to trainers attached to Belle Vue, to assist them and their owners, in meeting the welfare needs of their greyhounds.
“There has always been tremendous support for racing at Belle Vue over the years and we would, of course, like to offer our continued thanks to all of the loyal staff, trainers, owners, bookmakers and customers.”