Drumbo Park Greyhound Stadium near Lisburn has closed with immediate effect after directors of the business decided it was “no longer viable”.
The 14 full time and 30 part time staff who worked at the stadium were informed of the closure this morning.
The owners of the greyhound racing and associated hospitality business said their decision was based on a number of factors, including “a shortage of greyhounds to provide a full race programme” and “Northern Ireland’s restrictive licensing laws.”
A statement issued by the directors of Drumbo Park Greyhound Stadium said: “The directors of Drumbo Park regretfully announce that the greyhound stadium is closed with immediate effect (11.1.19).
“A number of factors have meant that after 10 years trading the business is no longer sustainable.
“This has included: a shortage of greyhounds to provide a full race programme, the impact of online gaming on live racing and Northern Ireland’s restrictive licensing laws preventing the sale of alcohol at the track on a Sunday. In addition, unlike the greyhound racetracks in the Republic of Ireland, Drumbo Park received no government funding.
“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.”
Commenting on the closure, the Chairman of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council’s Development Committee, Alderman William Leathem, said: “Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council is disappointed to hear that Drumbo Park Greyhound Stadium has closed with the loss of over 40 jobs to the local economy.
“For over 10 years the stadium, located at Lisburn Distillery Football Club’s ground, has provided employment and a leisure offering to locals and attracted many visitors to the area. We plan to meet with management to offer any help we can in helping those who lost their job find new employment or seek training opportunities.”
According to company director Michael McAdam, the closure of the greyhound racing business will have no impact on Lisburn Distillery FC, which uses the privately-owned stadium for its home games. • Read related report here.