RUGBY Borough Council is to explore options to bring Brandon Stadium back into use.
Proposing a motion to the Council, former speedway rider Coun Tony Gillias spoke of ‘overwhelming public desire’ to reopen the motorsports venue – also known as Coventry Stadium – and requested the council ‘explores any likely public advantages to the local and wider communities.’
It follows a planning committee decision in November to reject an application for 124 homes and a 3G football pitch on the site.
Brandon Stadium first opened over 90 years ago and was home to Coventry Bees before current owners Brandon Estates closed it back in 2016.
Coun Gillias, who rode for Coventry Bees from 1974 to 1977, said the potential attendance at the stadium would add to the sustainability of local businesses including chip shops, pubs and hotels.
He said: “It should be noted businessman Warren Hunter recently made an offer to purchase the stadium and other businesses and community groups have committed to helping rebuild the stadium to its former glory.
“The Council and its members are the custodians of the borough’s sporting history and heritage.
“The sports at the speedway cross the local and wider communities, they cross counties and continents and there are no barriers.
“Friendships are created that will last a lifetime and the wellbeing created can’t be measured in any document or policy statement, because it’s deep in your hearts and minds.”
The motion was seconded by Council leader Sebastian Lowe, who added: “I have no personal interest in speedway racing. However I am a huge fan of heritage and community.
“This motion is not to suggest that we should definitely go ahead and do something, it’s to suggest that we should explore what is possible to be done and I believe there is a sufficient groundswell of public opinion out there to suggest this might be worth looking at.”
Coun Neil Sandison pointed out that the council currently has no policies on protecting stadiums and suggested starting with exploring that option.