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Exeter Falcons to fly in 2009

By This is Exeter  |  Posted: September 07, 2008

  • Exeter Falcons backer Allen Trump toasts the planning approval that should signal the return of speedway to the city next year MARTIN WHITHAM EE050908_MW01_04

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THE Exeter Falcons will fly again in 2009 after club supremo Allen Trump's Haldon vision was given the go-ahead.

Teignbridge District Council has backed Trump's plans to move the Falcons to a purpose-built track at Exeter Racecourse — and he hopes it will be ready to host its first meeting by March next year.

The area's speedway fans have been deprived of their weekly fix for three years, following the closure of their historic County Ground home in St Thomas in 2005.

But Trump has had builders at the ready since his latest application was sent to planners in May — and he wants them to begin building the track by the end of the month.

The good news for Trump comes at the culmination of three years — and more than £25,000 — spent on finding the Falcons a new home.

Trump said: "It's been a crusade for me and I am over the moon that approval has now been given. It's been three years this September since I got involved and throughout all that time it's been an enormous emotional rollercoaster.

"I knew that if I didn't ever achieve this then there was every chance speedway would die forever in Exeter and I couldn't let that happen.

"That was enormous pressure to carry, but it was the fans who helped me through. Whenever I spoke to fans it buoyed me and kept me going.

"So I am just so pleased for everyone that this decision has finally been reached."

The approval was granted on certain conditions, including the monitoring of wildlife around the site, traffic planning for race meetings and guarantees that the track will only be used for speedway racing. But Trump explained that none of the conditions are onerous and, in the end, gaining approval was relatively trouble-free.

"It's great for us because essentially the only obstacle now is ensuring we are able to build the facilities in the time we are hoping for," he said.

"It is the answer we were all hoping for and have been waiting for. And now it's here we are just glad that it's all positive and everything is ready for the go-ahead."

Trump has already applied for the Falcons to compete in the British Speedway Premier League next year.

Exeter will learn whether they will be accepted at a league meeting in November and Trump knows he will need to show his peers evidence of the club's infrastructure by then.

While he is aware of the task ahead, the Falcons stalwart is keen to get started as soon as possible to ensure a smooth ride before next season.

"We're just waiting for a final bit of paperwork from (racecourse owners) the Jockey Club and then we will be in there straight away," he said.

"I wouldn't want to underestimate the magnitude of the task in front of us because effectively we have to construct a track, terracing and buildings within five months.

"But all is positive and looking possible at the moment, so we are feeling confident."

And Trump had a final message for the fans who have been waiting for three years to hear the news.

He said "They have been tremendous. None of them have complained or moaned, they have all just got on with it and this is a great reward for them."

Fans celebrate the imminent return of speedway to the city — see page 11.

Read more from Exeter Express and Echo

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    ron dewland, perth western australia  |  April 26 2009, 11:03AM

    have not been there since the 60's but great to see you going again all the best

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    Ala\n, Plymouth  |  September 09 2008, 11:16PM

    brilliant,Look forward to Devils v Falcons

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    John Nethercott, Exeter  |  September 08 2008, 12:21AM

    Absolutely fantastic news. Its been 8 long years since the initial threat of eviction by the Rugby club and three seasons of Exeter Falcons not having a home. Welcome back Exeter Speedway, Exeter no longer will have just Rugby and Football. Premier league champions in 2000 and we owned the world champion Mark Loram as well. Thanks to those behind the scenes who kept the faith and have seen this through in the dark days. The late Colin Hill the former speedway promoter and many others can hopefully now see the dream become a reality once more. Very best of luck to you all Allen and everyone else behind the scenes. The Falcons are gonna Fly again. Many thanks to you all.. It means so much to so many people.

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    GaryAshelford, Exeter  |  September 08 2008, 12:01AM

    What fantastic news! I along with many others I'm sure will be turning out in force to support the Falcons at their new track. Hopefully there will be no more setbacks now and we can look forward to some great racing at the long awaited venue. Can't wait to hear who the riders are going to be. From what I've read it's going to be a lovely racing track and everyone is going to enjoy riding there. Well done Allen and thank you very much.

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    Tony Brooks, NEW MILTON, HAMPSHIRE.  |  September 07 2008, 4:52PM


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    tony, exeter  |  September 06 2008, 3:56PM

    Geat News well done to all involved, See you all at the First meeting

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    Tony, exeter  |  September 06 2008, 1:46PM

    Great News I for one will be going to watch the Speedway, Im so glad it's coming back and I hope it will be a great Success for many many years to come, well done to all concerned. SEE YOU THERE!