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STADIUM SALE DENIED
POOLE Stadium bosses and the borough council have sought to quash rampant speculation that the venue is to be sold or used for banger racing.
Rumours are rife on internet forums that the home of top speedway team Poole Pirates could be changing hands.
Postings from fans suggest it could also host stock car and banger racing, which they feared would ruin the track and create more noise for neighbours.
The possibility of a sale was also hotly debated in the summer when leaseholder Stadia UK redeveloped another stadium in Swindon and forced the speedway club there to find a new home.
But stadium general manager Shaun Spencer-Perkins told the Daily Echo: "I can absolutely dispel the myths. There is no truth whatsoever in the rumour that we are being sold."
But he did confirm the stadium had been approached by motorsport promoter Spedeworth International about banger racing.
"I took a short phone call from them," he said. "But that is not something that we would contemplate here."
He added: "We are committed to speedway. It is phenomenally popular in Poole. We are looking forward to a busy year. Rest assured we will be open for training and business as usual."
The Borough of Poole, which owns the prime site at the heart of the town, also assured fans it had no plans to sell up.
Leader of the council Cllr Brian Leverett said: "It was the aim of this council to preserve that area as a stadium and protect and retain within Poole sports such as speedway. Our view on this has not changed."
The council has issued a long lease on the site, currently in the hands of Stadia UK. Under its terms "reasonable endeavours" must be made to ensure speedway continues there. Any new use not listed in the terms, which includes banger racing, would have to be "neighbourly in character" and agreed by the council.
Speedway is one of Poole's most popular and successful sports and has a 59-year history in the town.
Gordon Day, media manager for Poole Speedway, said: "I hope there are no plans for a sale. Speedway is to Poole what football is to Madrid, Milan and Manchester."