BRITISH Speedway promoters have launched a new five-year plan with the focus on blooding a talented crop of British youngsters in both professional leagues.

In addition, a start date of Saturday May 1 has been set for the 2021 season.

From this year onwards, every SGB Premiership and Championship club will include one ‘rising star’ in their team, with the aim of encouraging progression at a faster rate.

This means Championship Pirates can build up to 39 points for six riders plus a youngster graded two stars or below, alternatively they can use 38-points plus a rider with a grade of three stars and below.

Each team will race 10 home league meetings and 10 away, plus an individual series is planned with one round at each track.

Plymouth have also expressed an interest in joining the Championship with discussions ongoing to make it a 12-team league plus a Knockout Cup competition. Additionally, Somerset will be welcomed back for 2022 following their recent withdrawal.

British Speedway Promoters chairman Rob Godfrey said: “Everyone is excited by the new project to work with the youth and to encourage them over a five-year plan. We want to see riders develop from youth level to league racing and ultimately to the national team.

“We have a host of talented young riders desperate to make a career out of the sport and we are going to work closely with them to present them opportunities at league level to supplement the excellent work of Neil Vatcher and academies coaching them.

“With the restrictions in Poland and how many leagues they allow riders to sign up to, we have made this move – but we believe it’s the right thing to do in any circumstances.

“British Speedway is coming back and I, for one, cannot wait for the warmer weather, brighter nights and sound of bikes warming up for the new season.”

British Speedway vice-chairman Damien Bates added: “The Premiership and Championship will benefit from this project. I expect two highly competitive leagues and every club is committed to making 2021 a big success.”

Pirates confirmed they were committed to racing to the Daily Echo earlier this month.