Plans for new Swindon Robins stadium finally revealed

By Anita Jaynes on 26 February, 2016

Following the submittal of a final planning application, details have been revealed for a new greyhound and speedway stadium in North Swindon.

Sports fans were told in April last year that they would only have to wait weeks before documents were being submitted to the council before several obstacles arose in the process. With the planning application now received, details have been released for a sports facility and training centre, allowing for lessons on animal welfare, husbandry and motorcycle mechanics.

The Abbey Stadium has been host to a variety of sporting events for 70 years, but the current plans for renovation would mean a new stadium is erected in the current car park. It will be a state of the art structure built to optimise television coverage.

The documents attached to the revealed planning application state: ‘The new stadium model will deliver a high quality two-storey building with a new market hall at ground floor level, which will also include some catering and beverage facilities that can be used by both market and race visitors.
‘The main racing facility will be located at first level overlooking the greyhound and speedway tracks. It will incorporate restaurant, lounge and café bar style units.

‘The first floor design will be sufficiently flexible so as to provide meeting and conference spaces, available for private hire and for the use of local community groups.’

To continue a regular source of income for the stadium, markets will still be held within the main building.

The new stadium was originally slated for completion in the summer of 2009. At the time, Justin Tomlinson – then the Swindon borough councillor for Abbey Meads – said: “It’s absolutely fantastic news. I have been leading on this campaign from the beginning.”

Originally the site next to the stadium at St Andrew’s Ridge had been designated for light industrial and employment development. However central government agreed to a change of use to the Swindon local plan to permit 450 houses to be built in order to finance the stadium.