SWINDON Robins co-promoter Lee Kilby is “really positive” that the team will return to racing at the Abbey Stadium in 2023 despite the fact building work appears to have ground to a halt.

The Robins last raced in 2019, winning the Premiership Cup and league title, before the 2020 campaign was cancelled due to Covid.

Swindon announced the club would not race in 2021 or 2022 due to building work that was expected to take place at the Abbey, however, 18 months after Clarke Osborne - chairman of Stadia UK, Swindon stadium operators – said that building work would start, it remains nowhere near finished.

Kilby says he is not overly-concerned at this point and is looking forward to once again hosting Thursday-night meetings.

He said: “The intention is still to race in 2023 – 100 per cent. We knew that we would have to have a couple of years off, but now we’re looking to next year.

“We’re still in communication with our rider base, and I’m still working in speedway through the British Speedway network’s streaming service, which is the online streaming of the Championship.

“I’m still seeing a lot of our riders a lot of the time, and they’re all keen as mustard to race for us.

“They want to know what’s going on, everybody who sees me always asks what the situation is. Me and Alun are really positive that it will happen.”

Following a lengthy spell without much activity at the Abbey, the new year saw decent progress as the tired back-straight stand came down in preparation for the new grandstand.

But a couple of months without obvious movement is causing fans who pass by - and the management who need to declare their intentions to the British Speedway Board before September – cause for concern.

Kilby said: “We’ve been up to the Abbey and looked at it. We’ve seen the back-straight stand come down. We’ve seen the levelling of the groundwork around that back-straight area.

“That’s all positive, and it’s great that something has happened. And then what we presume to be the grandstand is in bits in the car park ready to go up.

“So we’re still positive, we’re just in a position now where it’s going to get a bit tight in terms of making a decision on next season if we’re not 100 per cent certain that we’re going to have that facility.

“We know the track is all good, but we have to have the stadium facilities available to accommodate the sponsors and the other VIP – the hospitality angle is where we’re just a bit unsure at the moment.”