Foxhall Stadium firm fined £100,000 for four health and safety breaches

The National Hot Rod World Championship race at Foxhall Stadium, Ipswich, on 02 July 2017. Picture:

The National Hot Rod World Championship race at Foxhall Stadium, Ipswich, on 02 July 2017. Picture: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

The company which runs Foxhall Stadium in Ipswich has been ordered to pay £118,000 after it admitted breaching four health and safety standards which jeopardised public safety.

Foxhall Stadium, Ipswich, on 02 July 2017. Picture: STEVE WALLER

Foxhall Stadium, Ipswich, on 02 July 2017. Picture: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Spedeworth International (East Anglia) Ltd, which runs the speedway and stock car venue, pleaded guilty to four breaches during a hearing at South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court in Ipswich in July.

The breaches took place over a period of more than two-and-a-half years beginning from September 2013.

Both Suffolk Coastal and Spedeworth confirmed the necessary improvements have now been made.

In a prosecution brought by Suffolk Coastal District Council, the firm admitted it had failed to carry out its duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act in relation to emergency exits, the structural stability and maintenance of two tiered seating platforms, failing to comply with an improvement notice to repair those grandstands and having eight emergency exits locked during a stock car meeting held in April last year.

During the sentencing hearing held at the magistrates’ court in Ipswich on Thursday, the company was ordered to pay a total of £118,000 in costs and fines.

Among the fines were £20,000 for lack of maintenance, £27,000 for failing to comply with the improvement notice, £20,000 for not having an adequate evacuation plan in place in October 2015 and £33,000 for holding the race meeting while eight of the emergency exits were locked.

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Following the sentencing Steve Gallant, cabinet member for community health at Suffolk Coastal District Council, said: “This week’s conclusion reflects that Spedeworth fell far short of the appropriate standards and failed to put in place measures to manage risks to health and safety at Foxhall Stadium.

“We’d like to thank the public for their support in bringing this case to court and bringing our attention to the fact that emergency exits had been locked at the stadium.

“Ultimately, our role is to ensure that the appropriate safety measures are in place to protect everyone at the ground.

“We’re now satisfied that Spedeworth has now made improvements.”

A spokesman from Spedeworth said that all the necessary changes and improvements had been made but was unavailable for further comment.

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