Work has finally started on redeveloping Swindon’s speedway and greyhound racing stadium at Blunsdon.

Cranes are visible at the site just off the A419 and the car park is full of pieces of prefabricated structure.

They are parts of the new main customer concourse and grandstand, and they are being put together on the site.

A spokesman for Gaming International which owns the stadium said: “The units in the car park will be put together for the new customer building going up in the next few weeks.

"Ground works will start in the next two to three weeks after that.”

The spokesman explained the main building was being assembled on site as a Covid-19 safety measure, allowing the work to be doing out of doors.

The existing stands and terraces will be demolished, and the new building placed on the opposite side of the track.

The start of work will come as a relief to the company - it has taken years to get to this stage in the redevelopment.

Outline planning permission was first granted a decade ago for the revamp.

But full approval was not granted to Gaming International until January last year, just weeks before the pandemic took hold on the country.

During those years a number of different ideas were put forward as part of the plan, including new houses and a care home, which were approved. While scores of new houses have been built around the stadium in the last 10 years, ideas to build a new fire station and a market on the site did not come to fruition.

After full planning permission was granted the company’s director and the redevelopment project manager George Edwards said he hoped the work could have been finished by the end of the year.

It was delayed by the pandemic but there was another setback when the construction plan, needed as a condition of planning consent, was refused last June.

With many new houses having been built very close to the stadium the noise, both of construction and speedway racing, has been a thorny problem for the company and the borough council’s planners to solve.

The planning committee was also asked by anti-dog racing campaigners to impose conditions against the sport, but it said that wasn’t possible under planning law.