Work starts on £2.9m stadium revamp

Work has begun on a £2.9m revamp of Yarmouth Stadium which is likely to create more than 50 jobs at the greyhound and stock car racing venue.

Work has begun on a £2.9m revamp of Yarmouth Stadium that is likely to create more than 50 jobs at the greyhound and stock car racing venue.

Contractors have been busy stripping an outdated 1940s grandstand on the site in Yarmouth Road, Caister, before it is bulldozed later this month.

It is hoped a three-storey grandstand will be built and open in time for the stadium's 60th anniversary of greyhound racing in September.

The stand will house three corporate entertainment boxes - replacing the existing one - and a top-class 240-seater restaurant.

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Stadium spokesman Dave Smith said: “This will bring us back into the premier league of tracks alongside such venues as Romford and Wimbledon.

“When the stadium was first built, corporate hospitality was never dreamt of. Now we have reached the stage where we have been forced to turn away this type of business.”

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He said they would be recruiting for more than 50 new jobs, ranging from chefs to porters, ahead of the opening.

“This is all good news for Yarmouth alongside the outer harbour, racecourse development and a host of other projects. They will all help to make the place tick,” he said.

The work will be carefully scheduled so the stadium can remain open for greyhound, banger and stock car meetings throughout the construction period, due to finish in August.

A temporary box is being built to house the greyhound and motor racing stewards, as well as all the necessary computer, video and electrical equipment.

The project, delayed by more than a year because of a hitch over costings, has gone ahead with the help of a £190,000 grant from the East of England Development Agency and £500,000 support from the British Greyhound Racing Fund.

Mr Smith said: “Although slightly scaled down in size from the original plans, it will still create a landmark building for the area, serving both the residents and holidaymakers of East Anglia.”

Although the facelift will slightly reduce the capacity, Mr Smith said it was a change that was desperately needed.

“What we have got to do is provide the facility that customers want. People want to come in and sit down and watch the entertainment,” he said.

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