20th Nov, 2018

SAVE OUR BEES: 'We remain committed' says campaign group fighting to save Coventry Bees

THE campaign group fighting to ‘Save Coventry Speedway’ has told fans they remain committed to bringing back speedway to the city.

For the first time in decades, supporters of the Coventry Bees have been without a team to cheer following a year-long off-track multi-party dispute – including Coventry Bees, Coventry Stox, and stadium owners Brandon Estates.

Attempts to reach a deal to allow Bees to race at the popular Brandon Stadium this year fell through, and further efforts to re-home the club at Leicester suffered from a similar outcome.

The absence of Bees on track has prompted life long speedway fan and Coventry photographer Jeff Davies to setup a campaign group with the aim to bring speedway back to Coventry as soon as possible.

The group has held multiple meetings and conversations with local authorities and other interested parties, but so far no outcome has been resolved.

The statement, issued on Tuesday morning, read: ‘We are aware that speedway and stock car fans are understandably desperately keen to hear updates on efforts to bring their sports back to the Coventry area.

‘As a Campaign Group we have been clear from the outset that we will not publish stories of false hope, and that information will only come into the public domain from us when it is confirmed.

‘We cannot, at this stage, offer any certainty that matters have progressed with regards to a return to racing next season.

‘This is despite a succession of meetings and conversations, both as a group and with a number of local authorities and other interested parties.

‘Over the course of the last six months, numerous attempts have been made – both directly and indirectly – to make contact with the stadium owners, Brandon Estates Ltd, in a bid to find a mutually beneficial way forward.

‘The lack of any kind of positive reaction to these efforts, which were specifically designed to involve third parties with no connection to the initial dispute, makes their position clear.’

Brandon Estates have yet to process a planning application despite confirming to The Observer a planning application was ‘imminent’ months ago.

The campaign group added they hope to bring authorities together to resolve the issue.

The statement continued: ‘Our top priority as a group is for the return of racing to the Coventry area as soon as possible, and for it to have a sustainable, long-term future.

‘We will continue to explore every possible way of bringing OUR sports back, and for that we need everyone backing the efforts. Any negativity simply plays into the hands of those who would rather see us go away – and that is not going to happen.

‘We will attend the forthcoming public examination to give evidence in support of the representations we made to the Rugby Local Plan, and we will resist to the best of our abilities any planning applications seeking to develop or change the use of Brandon Stadium in advance of a replacement being secured.’

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