Arena Racing Company (ARC) has strengthened its commitment to greyhound racing, after confirming the acquisition of both Perry Barr and Belle Vue greyhound stadia from the Greyhound Racing Association (GRA).
The two stadia have been long-standing members of the Bookmakers Afternoon Greyhound Service (BAGS) to betting shops.
Manchester-based Belle Vue and Perry Barr in Birmingham host 103 and 208 BAGS fixtures annually. The new agreement is therefore expected to host approximately 50% of the 1619 annual BAGS fixtures at ARC-owned stadia – which also includes Newcastle and Sunderland.
ARC Group Corporate Development Director Kevin Robertson said: “We are delighted to have reached agreement with GRA to bring Perry Barr and Belle Vue into the ARC group. We have a strong commitment to invest in British Greyhounds, and we look forward to working with the teams at both Belle Vue and Perry Barr.”
Both Belle Vue and Perry Barr have both been in partnership with The Racing Partnership (TRP) since 1 January 2018.
Chairman of GRA, Clive Feltham, added: “It’s been a pleasure running GRA having been involved for forty years.
“I am delighted to be handing over Belle Vue and Perry Barr to a professional and progressive company in ARC. I have had some great people working for me and attached to the stadia and I am sure they will continue to do a fantastic job under new owners.”
The future of Belle Vue has long been under review, following controversial plans proposed by the Manchester City Council to build houses on the historic site. Having first been built in 1926, the infrastructure is synonymous with the Belle Vue area and is one of the country’s oldest and most well regarded greyhound stadiums.