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Plans to build a new stadium in the heart of West Lothian, which will open in the spring of 2023 in time for the start of next year's speedway season, have been announced by Edinburgh Monarchs Speedway.
The new development, to be named the West Lothian Community Stadium, will host the Monarchs team alongside a range of projects and youth initiatives creating new opportunities for the local community.
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Described as ‘just a stone's throw away from M8 junction 3A’, the new stadium will be constructed on a site in Deans Industrial Estate, Livingston. The chosen site came as the result of an extensive search for an alternative home by the club which, earlier this year was given notice to quit its current home at Armadale Stadium.
Announcing the proposed move, Club Development Director Gordon Campbell said, “West Lothian Community Stadium is a massively exciting development for the Monarchs and for West Lothian.
“Through an extensive search we have identified the perfect location for the stadium where the Monarchs will thrive for years to come while also significantly increasing our ability to deliver benefits to the local community. Following detailed discussions with West Lothian Council, the site has been selected for its ease of access while also being in a place that will cause no disruption to local residents.”
With plans now in place to build a 1,500 capacity stadium with uninterrupted viewing of an internationally-certified 260 metre speedway track capable of hosting world events but also able to accommodate a smaller youth training track to be used by the Monarchs Speedway Academy. Facilities for community activities too will be incorporated into multi-use areas of the stadium.
The is to take a phased approach to the development of the project, determined by available funds, explained Mr Campbell. He said, “We will deliver a high quality stadium that will offer a terrific spectator experience and a base for community activities. Our plans will be implemented in a phased manner based on the funds that we attract, with funding almost in place for the very initial phase.
“We are actively looking to speak with anyone who would be interested in adding funds to allow us to accelerate through the phases of constructing West Lothian Community Stadium.”
A significant focus on community activity will feature in the operation of the stadium and already the Club have a broad base of projects in place to deliver this aim.
“In recent years at Edinburgh Monarchs Speedway we have grown our community arm of the Club and the new stadium will be the catalyst to drive this further,” explained Mr Campbell, continuing, “An area of focus is to provide a platform for training and skills development to boost employability of local young people through initiatives such as Monarchs Speedway Academy, RUTS (Rural & Urban Training Scheme), and Monarchs Innovation Centre.”
Artists impressions of the finished project show a covered stadium with seated terraces, a centre green training track, main track, pits area and dedicated parking area.
Importantly, the West Lothian Community Stadium would secure the future of Edinburgh Monarchs Speedway for the long term, a much sought after goal of the Club, says Monarchs Co-Promoter John Campbell, who adds, “For years we have aimed to secure the future of the Monarchs. Today's announcement is a massive step towards this.
“West Lothian Council has been supportive of our efforts so far but there is still much work to be done to deliver the stadium. We will need the continued backing of the local community and the Council to secure the site for our use, to support the project through the Planning Application process, and to construct the stadium.“We will also continue our efforts to secure as much funding as possible to build the best stadium we can for our fans and for the community. We would be pleased to hear from any businesses or interested persons with the ability to add funds or relevant skills to help construct the stadium.
“This is an immensely exciting project and we believe it will capture the imagination of the local community, of Monarchs fans, and of the wider speedway public to support us along the way.”
Anyone interested in supporting the Monarchs development of West Lothian Community Stadium can email [email protected] Plans for West Lothian Community Stadium will be on display at Armadale Stadium from 6.30pm this Friday ahead of Monarchs' Championship match against Scunthorpe Scorpions.
West Lothian Community Stadium will become the Monarchs sixth home, the team originally raced at Old Meadowbank Stadium in Edinburgh from 1948 to 1954 and again from 1960-1967. They resurfaced at Powderhall Stadium in 1977 where they raced until 1995 and then at Shawfield Stadium in 1996. They have raced at their current home in Armadale on Friday nights during the speedway season since 1997.