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VIDEO: Plans for speedway’s return to Norwich revealed

PUBLISHED: 13:58 26 July 2012 | UPDATED: 16:05 26 July 2012

Artist's impression of the proposed Norwich Speedway track at the Norfolk Showground.

Artist's impression of the proposed Norwich Speedway track at the Norfolk Showground.

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Detailed plans to bring speedway back to Norwich after nearly half a century have been revealed today.

A 360-metre track will be at the centre of the 11-hectare New Firs development, which developers hope to build on the eastern corner of the Norfolk Showground on the site of the former golf driving range, and which could be open for competition by the end of next year.

Plans were unveiled at the showground today, with former Norwich Stars hero Ove Fundin and former Lord Mayor Roy Blower in attendance.

The two-sided 480-seater stadium, with a pit building in the former driving range bays, could become the home to the new Norwich speedway team, reviving the sport in the city for the first time since the Firs stadium closed in 1965.

A planning application to South Norfolk District Council is expected to be submitted next month and Steve Ribbons, of New Firs Ltd, urged the council to view the stadium as “a force for good, economically and socially”.

“We believe there is a want and a need for speedway in Norwich – if you put the racing on, they will come,” he said.

The plans anticipate crowds of around 1,500 people per race night, bringing around 800 cars on to the showground, but Mr Ribbons said Saturday nights had been selected as race nice to avoid weekday rush hours.

Up to 30 speedway meetings will be held a year during the April-October season, with warm-up and racing between 7.30pm and 10pm. Practice sessions, which are not open to the public, would be held on Wednesday evenings.

The developers are distributing leaflets to 2,000 homes in the area around the proposed stadium to ask for residents’ thoughts, and a public exhibition of the plans is scheduled for the MacGregor building at the Norfolk Showground on Saturday.

What do you think about the potential return of speedway to Norwich? Leave your comments below or email mark.shields@archant.co.uk

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