Edinburgh Monarchs face uncertain future as plans for a new speedway stadium in Livingston are knocked back
The Edinburgh Monarchs have not ruled out staying at Armadale next season after their bid to secure land for a new stadium was thrown out.
The Scottish speedway outfit announced in June their intentions to relocate to Deans Industrial Estate, in Livingston, leaving their current home of Armadale which is due to be sold off later this year.
A 60-page document for the West Lothian Community Stadium was submitted to the council prior to the July 28 deadline.
Monarchs' vision included a phased approach that would have seen a new 1,500-seated stand, hospitality lounges, a 260-metre track constructed to FIM international standards and state-of-the-art LED floodlights installed, a project that had afforded the UK speedway fraternity a much-needed boost.
However, despite the positive vibes from councillors in wake of the club's announcement, the local governing body have backed an alternative industrial developer's bid - there were only two submitted - and will now proceed with the sale of the land leaving the 74-year history of the Monarchs in limbo.
Club officials are weighing up their options as they aim to keep speedway running beyond the end of the current 2022 season.
Monarchs development director Gordon Campbell told the Evening News: "We always hoped this would come off and we're still very positive about finding an alternative site and securing the future of the club.
"We're working on a Plan B and seeing if there is something we can do. As long as Armadale is standing then it's an option but we can't say for certain if it is realistic or not.
" We've started conversations but we don't have an answer. The stadium owners might need to assess where they are in their process and whether their timeline might allow for it. But we can't say for certain at this moment either way. I'm actually in just a bit of disbelief that the bid we put forward should go against us.
"We'll continue to explore all options that might be available to us. In terms of finding a new stadium, we're effectively starting from scratch again so it will take a chunk of time.
"Options change all the time, new sites come on the market or suddenly become available. We have always kept abreast of what the market is doing just in case this day came, so we do have some ideas but they are in the very early stages.
"The next step is to explore them further and see if there is anything in them.
"Fans can be assured we're doing everything we can to come to the tapes in 2023. Armadale is the best option to make that possible and hopefully we'll know more about that soon."
Club co-promoters Alex Harkess and John Campbell – the latter is Gordon's dad – and current seven riders are also flabbergasted with the council's decision.
Gordon added: "They're both massively disappointed. It's been the core element of our lives for several years. But we'll continue to put everything into the club until we secure the permanent future. The riders are also gutted and have made their feelings known, but they are supportive of getting this sorted."
The Monarchs host the Redcar Bears in the Championship play-off quarter-finals at Armadale on Friday before the return leg on Teesside on Sunday.