BRITISH Speedway will launch a new programme for youth development in 2024 as part of a concerted effort to bring through the next generation of the sport’s stars.

All Premiership and Championship clubs have signed up to the new three-tier structure following discussions at the annual general meeting.

This will involve each club either competing in the National Development League, staging events in a new National Individual series, or taking part in a youth programme to be run in second halves following senior meetings.

Six clubs have already stated their intention to take part in the NDL next season, and further details will be available in the coming weeks.

In terms of senior leagues, the Premiership will welcome two new clubs in 2024 as Birmingham and Oxford step up to join the top-flight, as Peterborough and Wolverhampton depart due to their ongoing stadium issues.

The Premiership points limit has been raised to 40 (for six riders), with teams to be completed by a ‘rising star’, and the league will continue to stage the KO Cup competition plus an unchanged play-off format.

Poole Pirates will again compete in the Championship. The second tier will welcome Workington back into senior racing for the first time since 2018 after the success of their opening season in the NDL at Northside.

Oxford will continue to operate at that level, as well as the Premiership.

The points limit has, as expected, been set at 38 (for seven riders) and the KO Cup and BSN Series competitions will feature once more, with draws and group structures to follow.

The Championship play-off format has been revised and will now match the Premiership, with the top four clubs qualifying for the semi-finals, rather than the previous group format involving the top six.

BSPL chairman Rob Godfrey said: “Youth development is key in what we want to achieve throughout the sport, and there have been many positive discussions on that front.

“One of the reasons for setting the Championship points at 38 was that we need to bring the youth through, and the other consideration was simply through determining the number of riders available multiplied by the number of teams.

“The emphasis is very much on bringing riders back into that league and also to re-build with far more opportunities for the youngsters, who will hopefully one day be our new number ones, and the 38-point limit achieves that.

“The new system for youth development will involve every club, and I’ve been very pleased with the enthusiasm shown by everyone as we head in this direction.

“Overall I believe we have worked together to make changes which will benefit the sport as a whole, at all levels, and we look forward to the new season starting next spring.”

Other changes ratified at the AGM include all British speedway tracks bringing in the random electronic starting procedure, as seen in the Grand Prix series, any rider now being eligible for heat 15 and the booking of guests being allowed if any member of the top five is unavailable.

A transfer window has also been introduced, which closes when a club has completed 75 per cent of their regular league meetings.

Premiership 2024: Belle Vue, Birmingham, Ipswich, King’s Lynn, Leicester, Oxford, Sheffield.

Championship 2024: Berwick, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Oxford, Plymouth, Poole, Redcar, Scunthorpe, Workington.