Birmingham & Black Country

Heathens' chairman hopes to use planned arena in Dudley

The chairman of a West Midlands speedway club has said they want to use a proposed new football stadium.

Plans for a new arena in Dudley to be used by Gornal Athletic Football Club were leaked to the media on Wednesday.

Dudley Heathens currently use Monmore Green, Wolverhampton, and chairman Nigel Pearson hopes to become Gornal's tenants.

Dudley Borough Council said there were already plans for the Castle Hill site that were being considered.

Mr Pearson said that proposals for the new stadium, close to Dudley Zoo, were at an early stage and he was unhappy the details had been leaked.

'Prejudice development'

He said: "There's no guarantee that there will be a piece of land available in that particular area.

"The stadium would be Gornal's and we would be tenants.

"If we had a track to call our own then we could look at a higher level and the ultimate aim would be to enter the Elite League long term and try and restore the club to where it once was.

"We could bring top international sporting events back to the centre of Dudley."

The deputy leader of the Labour-led authority, councillor Shaukat Ali, said: "While the council welcomes any opportunity to broaden the borough's sporting offer, along with the investment, visitors and jobs this brings with it, there is an existing plan for the future of the Castle Hill site, which is being funded through a range of sources including European and Heritage Lottery funding.

"Any departure from this, at this time, would prejudice the Castle Hill development, which will in itself bring significant investment and jobs.

"However, the council will continue to work with the speedway promoters and Gornal Athletic Football Club to attempt to find a suitable site."

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