11/01/2019

Greyhound Stadium At Drumbo Park Closes

Drumbo Park Greyhound Stadium near Lisburn is set to close immediately with the loss of 44 jobs.

The directors of the Lambeg venue released a statement on Friday 11 January, saying the business was no longer sustainable, blaming a shortage of greyhounds and restrictive licensing laws, as well as the growth in online gambling.

Their statement continued: "In addition, unlike the greyhound racetracks in the Republic of Ireland, Drumbo Park received no government funding."

The stadium is one of only two tracks in Northern Ireland, and opened at Lisburn Distillery Football Club's ground in 2008 as part of a £3million venture.

"In the past two years, the directors invested substantial resources in an effort to turn the business around but a decision had to be taken that it was no longer viable.

"The 14 full time and 30 part time staff were informed on Friday morning.

"The directors would like to thank the staff, customers and dog owners for their support and dedication over the past decade."

Alliance representatives for the Lisburn area have expressed their disappointment at the closure and called for an overhaul of the licensing system in Northern Ireland.
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"There is no doubt this will have an impact on the local economy and my thoughts are with the 44 members of staff who are now out of a job," said Lagan Valley MLA Trevor Lunn. 
"Alliance has long been vocal in the campaign to have our licensing laws liberalised, advocating a more common sense approach to the issue. It is a long overdue step forward Northern Ireland needs to take and in light of this development, it should be a wake-up call for those opposed to reform. It is especially disappointing given a Bill leading to changes in the law was moving through the Assembly before the collapse of devolution." 


Councillor for north Lisburn, Stephen Martin added: "I have met with Council officials this morning to ask we urgently clarify the status of the company, reach out to the owners of the venue and to Lisburn Distillery FC to ensure any assistance that can be given is made available.

"The staff affected, many of whom worked there for many years, need to be offered every possible assistance and not left to their own devices when the dust settles. The loss of such a key tourism and social driver as Drumbo Park is a real blow for the local area and particularly to the greyhound industry here in Northern Ireland."





(JG/CM)

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