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 Hope for Newport

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tanya
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PostSubject: Hope for Newport   Fri Jul 18, 2014 11:10 am

Hope for Newport
by Bob Radford


The long battle to bring speedway back to Newport seemed to clear the biggest hurdle of all last week.

Local businessman Tim Stone's application to build an international track, together with facilities for 3000 crowds, on a Queensway Meadows site has been approved by the planning committee of Newport Borough Council.

That approval has to go before the full council, but in local government this is generally a rubber stamping process.

Speedway was held at Somerton Park, a run down stadium shared with Newport County FC, from 1964 to 1977. Even though the square shaped track rarely made for good racing, the club was well supported, crowds usually larger than for soccer.

The stadium was demolished long after Newport lost its Football League status, with most areas closed on health and safety grounds. When the stadium was demolished, Stone bought the seats and other stadium accessories for future use.

"The site is on the Somerton side of town, about three minutes drive from junction 24 of the M4," said Stone, who plans to install a 285-metre international track.

The indications are that if there is an intermediate League next year, Newport could be possible starters.

"A lot of things are still undecided, including a proposed race night. Friday may seem obvious but we'll make that decision later and it could be even Thursday, Saturday or Sunday. Obviously it has to go before the full council first but I have to be hopeful.

"I have been working quietly for many years to try to bring speedway back, that is my style. If and when everything is in place, there will be a press conference and I can then be a lot more definite about plans," he promised.

Stone, who is in the printing and book binding business, will only confirm that a six figure sum will be involved in bringing speedway back to Newport.

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