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Sandwell Council offer Dudley Heathens new stadium hope

BBC WM's speedway forum
Nigel Pearson, Tony Mole, Peter Adams and Tai Woffinden fielded questions on West Midlands speedway

Sandwell Council's cabinet member for culture, youth and leisure believes the Dudley Heathens speedway team could find a home in her borough.

Ann Shackleton is backing the Heathens' search for their own stadium after their return to action this year.

"We have lots of brown-field sites and I think the possibility of speedway coming to Sandwell is greater than it ever was," she told BBC WM.

"I look forward to it, particularly if we could have silencers in place."

Up until now the Heathens have largely concentrated their efforts on finding a site within Dudley for their new home, 15 years after being forced to vacate their Dudley Wood stadium.

I'd be even prouder if we could bring the speedway to Sandwell

Sandwell councillor Ann Shackleton

But Cradley Heath itself lies on the other side of the council boundary, which makes a move into Sandwell potentially exciting.

"I spoke to some relevant people on Sandwell Council and everybody I spoke to was in favour of supporting any application that could be made for speedway," Councillor Shackleton told supporters attending BBC WM's West Midlands Speedway Forum.

"I'm wearing my 'Be Proud of Sandwell' badge - I'd be even prouder if we could bring the speedway to Sandwell."

Her offer was well received by Bob Edwards, the long-time leader of the CRASH campaign group, an organisation that has been fighting to keep the Heathens name alive.

"It's obvious that Sandwell have got a fair amount of land, about 400 hectares coming up over the coming years," he noted.

"If we can find something like that in our catchment area then that would be superb and we would rush back there."

For the time being the Heathens will continue their itinerant existence, staging their home fixtures at Wolverhampton's Monmore Green track and Birmingham's Perry Barr Stadium.

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see also
Play-off hopes not over - Smart
06 Oct 10 |  Speedway
Lambert storms to Hammer success
29 Sep 10 |  Motorsport
Wolves boss backs Heathens plans
29 Sep 10 |  Speedway

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