Following a consultation, Arena Racing Company (ARC) has confirmed that Belle Vue Greyhound Stadium will close down with employees of the track due to be made redundant.
The closure of the Manchester track has been on the cards for some time after a Manchester Planning and Highways committee approved proposals to close Belle Vue Greyhound Stadium in December 2019, with the site expected to be used for housing.
As a stadium that relies heavily on attendance, catering and hospitality, ARC stated that the national lockdown has had a ‘particularly negative effect on Belle Vue, with racing behind closed doors simply unable to sustain the business’.
The development of the site will be overseen by Countryside Properties, and will see 247 new houses built, 14% of which will be allocated under an affordable housing scheme.
Having been built in 1926, the infrastructure is synonymous with the Belle Vue area in East Manchester, and its closure is expected to result in approximately 200 jobs being lost.
Commenting on the closure, Director of ARC’s Racing Division, 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.”