Published: September 5, 2013
Highbridge speedway threatened by new safety fence regulations


Top-flight speedway racing will no longer take place at Highbridge's Oaktree Arena from next year unless vital funding can be found for a compulsory new £30,000 safety fence.

New British Speedway Association rules being introduced in 2014 require all professional racing tracks across the UK to have safety fences to protect riders.

Manager Debbie Hancock, pictured, told Burnham-On-Sea.com that tens of thousands of pounds are needed to introduce the mandatory new facilities.

"A major fundraising campaign is underway to raise the cash to buy the fence and keep speedway here at the Oaktree," she said.

"The safety of our riders and spectators is of the highest importance and the 'air fences' required at each corner will provide protection and safety."

"The British Speedway Association is making them compulsory from the start of the 2014 season, so if we don't manage to raise the funds and build the fences we won't be able to hold any competitive racing."

"That would be a huge blow to the Oaktree, to Somerset Rebels and also to the fans and local businesses who benefit from our races."

She added: "We've raised £6,000 so far but have to raise £30,000 in total, so we have a long way to go and really need the public's help."

Ian Jefferies, manager at Burnham's tourist information centre, said he is backing the campaign.

"It would be a massive blow for the area if speedway were to go," he told Burnham-On-Sea.com.

"Whenever matches are held, large numbers of visitors come to stay in Burnham - it brings in revenue for accommodation providers and businesses and we don't want to lose this."

"I really hope locals get behind the fundraising and enable this fence to be introduced."

A fundraising golf day is to be held this month and a celebrity darts evening is being planned for November.

The golf day will be held at Brean Golf Club on Friday 27th September. It will start with refreshments at 8.30am and the golf will begin at 10am. The format will be 4-man teams with the 2 best stableford scores counting on each hole.

An auction and evening function will be held afterwards at The Oaktree. The auction will include a signed 2013 Yeovil Town Football Club Shirt, a signed 2012-2013 Somerset County Cricket Almanac, and a VIP speedway package.

The cost of entering a team is £130. However, if you cannot manage to get a team of four people together, individual entries are welcome and the organisers will form teams at £32.50 per person. Further details and sponsorship opportunities are available from Andrew March on 07957 972614 or Jordon Jones on 07545 345980.

 


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