A fresh appeal for talks over creating a new stadium to attract thousands of Black Country speedway fans has been made by club bosses today.
Around 1,000 fans pack into Wolverhampton’s Ladbrokes Stadium to watch Dudley Heathens Speedway Club meetings since riders took to the track once more four years ago.
Heathens chairman Nigel Pearson today said he was “disappointed” talks with Dudley Council leader, Councillor David Sparks, had failed to materialise in recent months.
He says there is no long-term future for the club in Wolverhampton and reiterated the time was right for a permanent move back to Dudley.
Club officials have also held talks with Sandwell Council over the possibility of building a stadium on industrial land in the borough.
The club had hoped a stadium could be included in the multi-million pound regeneration of Castle Hill.
But redevelopment plans for Castle Hill have already been approved by councillors this week.
Mr Pearson said: “We are disappointed we have been unable to have talks with David Sparks about the stadium over the last few months.
“We will continue to push forward carrying the Dudley name but there is no long term future at Wolverhampton.
“We have been made so welcome and the Wolverhampton track staff have done a great job but we have to look at plans for our own stadium.
“Sandwell have offered to investigate industrial sites for us and we have had some dislogue with them. At the moment we have reached an impasse and there is a lack of progress.”
Councillor Sparks today ruled out hopes to build a stadium on Castle Hill but did welcome fresh talks in a bid to find a new site suitable for a new speedway venue.
“I’m very eager to have talks and hear the club’s suggestions and they only have to make contact with my office at the council,” he said. “Castle Hill is not a suitable site for speedway and we are already progressing with plans with the three attractions. I would hope that we would be able place the Heathens in Dudley or Sandwell but I personally don’t know of a suitable site.”
The Heathens, which rose out of the former Cradley Heath side, have been racing in Wolverhampton and Birmingham since they reformed in 2010.