SWINDON Robins owner Terry Russell hopes the SGB Premiership champions are on the final lap of their wait for their new stadium after track owners Gaming International revealed plans to have the new facility ready this year.

Under revised proposals submitted as a reserve matters application, the new arena will be built on the site of the existing one at the Abbey Stadium, with the speedway and greyhound tracks shortened “to improve racing’’ and fitted with new lighting and a safety fence.

In addition, the existing grandstand would go, to be replaced by a two-level building designed to accommodate more than 700 as well as a viewing balcony.

New racing kennels, speedway pits, changing rooms, a youth training facility, lecture rooms, offices and a cafe and bar would also be part of the development.

Plans for a new venue next door to the existing Abbey Stadium home were first unveiled in 2015 but the project has been hit by setbacks ever since.

Gaming International said last year that work to build the new facility off-site had been completed but that drainage issues at the current site in Blunsdon meant it could not be installed.

Company chairman Clarke Osborne revealed yesterday that they were ready to start work “as soon as we receive the green light’’ and that there was a “realistic programme to have the Robins racing on their new track this season.’’ Russell meanwhile, hopes the finish line is in sight for the long-running saga and that his 2017 SGB Premiership-winning side will soon boast a new home worthy of national champions.

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Terry Russell (Right) with Robins rider Nick Morris. 

“There are no implications for the Robins really, we are going to make the track smaller, but that was always something I wanted to do to improve to the racing,” said Russell.

“It will be a new stadium, with all the facilities, the new PA system, the floodlights and the new stand – it will be a new stadium, just where we are. The new fence, the new track will all be the same facilities of what we were talking about, just where we are and not opposite in the car park.

“As I understand, everything will be the same but just turned around, what is now the back straight will be demolished and the pits and everything will be down the other end.

“It’s great. Hopefully we will get a lot of the work done, I’m waiting for a conference call with Gaming International to discuss the logistics of everything.

“We look forward to putting it all behind us, I’ve not bothered too much because we aren’t like Coventry (Bees) or anywhere else where we don’t have a home.” We have a home and we have been able to get on with our business accordingly.

“There are exciting times to come. We believe we have a team who are competitive and can retain the title, so we pleased with that.

“We’ll get the new facility done with minimum disruption to our public. we’ll either get it done before we start, or during the little breaks in the fixtures.’’