Peterborough Speedway: Panthers seek urgent talks over £50m site redevelopment plan

Bjarne Pedersen and Scott Nicholls
Skipper Scott Nicholls (right) achieved the heat victory that secured last year's title

Premiership champions Peterborough Panthers are seeking urgent talks over plans to redevelop their East of England Arena home.

Reports say that the site's owners AEPG are planning a £50m regeneration of the areaexternal-link, which could mean the Panthers needing to find a new home.

A club statement said they had the "firm intention" of "continuing in 2023 and beyond".

They won their first title for 15 years by beating Belle Vue last October.

AEPG (Asset Earning Power Group) and the East of England Agricultural Society are seeking permission to begin work next summer on transforming the 165-acre East of England Showground site with a leisure village, conference facilities and housing.

Ashley Butterfield, the AEPG chief executive, believes it could lead to the creation of more than 400 jobs.

The Panthers statement, issued on Wednesday, said: "Representatives of the club will be pursuing meetings with members of Peterborough City Council and arena operators AEPG as a matter of urgency.

"We wish to formulate a plan to ensure the speedway team remains an integral part of the growth and redevelopment of Peterborough.

"The Panthers, who are the reigning Premiership champions racing at the top level of the sport and bringing international stars to the city on a regular basis, are a massive part of the local community."

It added: "We are negotiating a future plan for the next phase of Peterborough Speedway as a community club driven for the people, and the club owners will be leading ongoing discussion with Peterborough City Council for a longer-term solution."

The Panthers, who were formed in 1970, beat Ipswich Witches 50-39 on Monday, with the return fixture taking place on Thursday.

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