Swindon Borough Council has committed to keeping Swindon's Abbey Stadium for leisure and entertainment, meaning houses cannot be built in its place. 

The future of speedway and greyhound racing in the town has been up in the air for some time, with an ongoing stadium refurbishment by land owner Gaming International and houses being built in the surrounding area by their partner Taylor Wimpey currently subject to an investigation into potential planning breaches. 

But a new wrinkle was added recently when a charge was filed on the Companies House page for Gaming International which appeared to show the stadium had been 'sold' to Legal and General Affordable Homes (Development) Limited (L&G) causing concern that the stadium could be demolished and turned into housing.

In reality, it appears that the stadium has been put up as collateral should Gaming International fail to pay back a loan from L&G, so it is believed it has not officially changed hands yet. 

However, that did not stop Jim Robbins, leader of Swindon Borough Council, from publicly committing to keeping the stadium land's designated use for leisure and entertainment in place. 

In comments to Speedway Star, he said: "We're trying to find out exactly what the deal is at the moment and we have officers trying to get hold of someone at Legal and General to understand exactly what is going on.

"There is a chance that they're just trying to refinance and we'll get to the bottom of exactly what it means. As soon as we can, we'll try and set out something so the residents can understand what's going on. 

"The situation for the council is still very much that the land is zoned for leisure use - we're not looking to change that at all. We certainly don't want to see the stadium go or housing on the site, so nothing has changed from our point of view. 

"We'll be looking to protect the stadium and would love to see speedway back in Swindon as soon as possible."

Speedway has not been running in the town for a number of years and former promoter Terry Russell has now had the licence to run racing in the town removed. 

This has sparked a bid by Lee Kilby and Alun Rossiter to revive the licence, with Coun Robbins saying he is open to meeting them to see how the council can help. 

"As soon as we can get the meeting in the diary with Alun and Lee, we'll get it done," he said.