Peterborough Greyhound Stadium owner says it is ‘too early’ to decide on the venue’s future

The owner of Peterborough Greyhound Stadium says it is too early to make a decision on the future of the venue after financial pressures triggered by the Covid pandemic forced it to cease racing.

By Paul Grinnell
Monday, 15th June 2020, 5:00 am
Peterborough Greyhound Stadium at Fengate EMN-200520-145811009
Peterborough Greyhound Stadium at Fengate EMN-200520-145811009

Richard Perkins, chief executive of the stadium, in Fengate, has received a steady flow of interest from potential users and buyers of the stadium since the family announced the end of greyhound racing at the stadium.

But Mr Perkins said that now was just not the right time to make a decision about the venue, which has staged greyhound racing for the last 75 years and that employed 180 workers - mostly part-time - including 25 full-time staff.

The Perkins family announced about four weeks ago that they were immediately cease trading as a greyhound racing stadium as the Covid outbreak meant the stadium was unlikely to be able to accommodate the substantial number of visitors it needed to remain sustainable.

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The announcement caused a lot of sadness among Peterborough people.

Mr Perkins said: “Since that announcement, we have been emailed by lots of people suggesting other uses like paintball events, a drive-in cinema and festivals,

“We are talking to various people about how we can utilise the facilities here but there has not been any agreement to do anything.

“We are also looking at ways that we can use the stadium as something else.

Mr Perkins added: “At the moment, we are just not sure what we are going to do. We have lots of options.”

The key to success for venues like Peterborough Greyhound Stadium is the ability to attract high numbers of customers and bring in cash through the doors.

Social distancing measures designed to stop the spread of coronavirus reduce the number of people that can be allowed into any single venue.

Mr Perkins said: “It is very early days and a lot will depend on what the Government will allow, for instance around social distancing.

“We are still waiting for the Government to decide but we don’t know when that decision will be take so everything is up in the air at the moment.

He added: “It is too early to make a decision and for the moment we are just hanging on.”