The Future Of Belle Vue Aces Is Secured

Speedway is all set to return to the National Speedway Stadium on Kirkmanshulme Lane in time for the newly named 2017 British Speedway Premiership as a new consortia has been agreed to secure the future of the historic Aces club.

Founded by Tony Rice and Robin Southwell, Belle Vue Speedway 2017 Ltd can now be confirmed as the new owners of the Belle Vue Aces franchise.

The British Speedway Promoters Association (BSPA), who has control over speedway promoters’ licences across the UK, has confirmed their decision following consultation with Manchester City Council.
The franchise will take control of the club from today (Friday, 24th February 2017) and will occupy the National Speedway Stadium at the Belle Vue Sports Village. The announcement follows a successful fans’ forum staged at the National Speedway Stadium last night, (23rd February) where the consortium and management team was unveiled to Belle Vue fans along with two confirmed signings in Craig Cook and Steve Worrall.

Robin Southwell, Adrian Smith, Mark Lemon & Tony Rice        (photo Ian Charles)

Bringing significant commercial experience to the venture, Club owners Tony Rice and Robin Southwell have strong links to Manchester and have the desire to develop a long-term and sustainable future for the Club in Manchester, promoting the National Speedway Stadium as a world class venue for Speedway.

The Club’s Owners have appointed Adrian Smith (who has worked with Tony Rice in other businesses) as Chief Executive Officer and are also delighted to announce that Mark Lemon has been appointed Director of Speedway, reporting to the CEO.  Mark was the Aces Team Manager for the successful 2015 & 2016 seasons and spearheaded Belle Vue Aces back to their glory days, topping the league last season and finishing in back to back Grand Finals for the past two successive seasons.

A combination of some complimentary skills, Adrian will have overall responsibility for developing and managing the business whist Mark will be Aces Team Manager and will also have full responsibility for all Premiership, National and development team activities.

Club Owners Tony and Robin commented, “Whilst it has taken a few weeks to finalise negotiations, we are delighted to become the new owners of the Belle Vue Aces. We have been impressed with Manchester City Council’s commitment to Belle Vue and believe that we will continue to build a close working relationship with them as we develop the business during the season.”

Newly appointed CEO, Adrian Smith said; “I am delighted to be joining Belle Vue Speedway 2017 Ltd and I am very excited that Mark Lemon is joining the team as our Director of Speedway.  Both of us are determined to build a sustainable club that our fans and Manchester can be truly proud of.”

 “We have been encouraged by the passion and support we’ve witnessed for the club throughout what must have been worrying time as a fan or volunteer. With the start of the new season on the horizon, we’re confident there will be no shortage of information on the new team and plans in the coming weeks.”

Mark Lemon, Director of Speedway said: “I am both relieved and excited to see Belle Vue Speedway’s future secured. It has been a real honour to be involved with such a historic club over the past two seasons as Team Manager. As we look towards the start of a new season, I am genuinely excited to get the opportunity to work with Adrian and the Club Owners, who are very knowledgeable and enthusiastic and look forward to being part of the new team for what is an exciting new chapter in the club’s history. With just over six weeks to go until the start of the season, the focus lies on the finalising team plans for both the Aces and Colts.”

Keith Chapman, Chairman of the British Speedway Promoters Association (BSPA), said: “It’s a thrill to be able to officially announce Belle Vue Speedway 2017 Ltd as the new owners of the Belle Vue Aces franchise, securing the club’s future after a period of intense speculation. The National Speedway Stadium is a shining beacon of British Speedway and today’s news marks the start of a bright future for the club.”

Friday 24th February 2017