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Ardent is Closing With a New Venue in Sight

As of the end of the June, Ardent Raceway as we know it will be no more! South Derbyshire Council are to blame by insisting expensive w...


As of the end of the June, Ardent Raceway as we know it will be no more!
South Derbyshire Council are to blame by insisting expensive work is carried.
I cut and paste the official press release:
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Dear RC Racers,
Ardent Raceway was initially set up by enthusiasts, we never intended to make any money from it, nor did I ever intend to get my investment back. It was purely a way of me giving something to the hobby I love and creating a place to congregate with fellow RC enthusiasts and have some bloody good fun!!It surpassed all our expectations, from the support of the AMAZING Red Hoodie gang who have given up weeks, possibly months of their own personal time to keep the place open and running, to the sheer volume of racers that have travelled the UK and even the globe to visit us and race at our Kings Newton Track.


What you see today is our first attempt at creating an indoor RC Raceway, I like to call it Ardent v1.6, (1.6 as it’s had to re-invent itself a few times as we learnt from experiences?.


As with all great inventions there comes a time when it needs refreshing, it needs upgrading to version 2, sometimes it’s the market that drives it, sometimes it’s other influences. In the case of Ardent v1.6 it’s other external influences, This time it’s the South Derbyshire District Planning Department, Highways agency and the Environmental Health department.Here’s what they are saying:

1) They want to reduce our operation hours so that we are closed by 21:00; this is a new policy enforceable from 2010 for leisure facilities that are close to housing.
2) They want us to tarmac the car park and provide markings to highlight parking bays, disabled spaces etc. They also want the entire car park illuminating to the health and safety departments’ satisfaction.
3) They want us to build a Disabled toilet block.
4) They want a failsafe emergency backup for the electrics so in the event of a power cut, lighting will automatically kick in from a battery source to enable people to safely leave the facility in hours of darkness.
5) And the main problem is – the Highways agency wants the gates moving back to a minimum of 5mtrs from the road edge, and the entire wall all the way up to the toilet block moving back 2.5mtrs from the road edge to aid visibility when exiting the facility.

I have spent £1000’s working with specialists over the past 6 months trying to work in some affordable solutions to these requests, I’ve been back and forth to the planning authority to fight to retain the planning application and have tried every trick in the book.

Either we pay to have the work done at a cost of around £35k or we look for something bigger and better. I know many of you racers well and I know your first reaction is to bombard me with ideas and ‘have you tried this and have you tried that’ and I love you all for being that way, you are as passionate about the place as I am, but the fact is there’s no way of getting around standard Highways Agency rules. And it’s only that last point that’s a real killer, the others we could have probably worked around or done with sheer determination and grit which is what built the place in the first instance. So it’s time for Ardent v2 to be created!!


On the plus side of moving from Ardent v1.6 to v2:

1) We found a business model that worked, the Ardent Raceway was a great success and this puts us in a very good position going forward both from experience and more importantly financially.
2) We know what we can expect from numbers and what we can afford to rent.
3) We know what we need/want when looking for a new location (Flat floor, lower ceiling, heating etc..).
4) It gives us a chance to re-invent our business model that will make it even stronger when going forward, and we now know to pay close attention to the car park, entrance/exits and location.

So here’s what’s going to happen, we/you should continue to enjoy the Kings Newton location up until July 2012, we will have a farewell ‘Barn’ meeting at the beginning of July. We need to fully vacate the unit by the end of July. If there is anything you would like to purchase from the track then talk to us, as there’s a chance we may not need it at the new Raceway and any money raised will help to pay for the upgrade to version 2.

In the meantime we are looking for a new and improved location; similar locality as we need to be near to the Red Hoodie Gang and the location really worked attracting the North and the South. We have a few units we are looking at, but please if you know of somewhere then please let me know as you might have spotted a little beauty. We have a plan B in place in the interim should we not secure anywhere before the middle of July and will be temporarily renting a unit for Tuesday and Friday evenings if this ends up being the case.

So please continue to race at the Raceway, make the most of the current place, join our farewell Kings Newton races and the Derby Club Charity event in June (24hr race is completely unaffected) and we would love your support either at our temporary location or at the new and improved Ardent v2 location (tbc)..

If you would like to be ‘engaged’ with me on the Ardent v2 venture and if you want to make your contribution to the RC hobby then drop me a message and I’ll share with you the v2 business model.


Happy racing all and I look forward to the future. (See you at Ardent v2 coming soon!!)


John. Founder


I want to discuss(more rant really) about these points and how i feel that some people in this world are employed just to cause issues for groups of people!



1) They want to reduce our operation hours so that we are closed by 21:00; this is a new policy enforceable from 2010 for leisure facilities that are close to housing.
  • My nearest leisure centre is right in the middle of an housing estate and i mean in the middle! it closes at 22.00 during the week so why is Ardent effected in this way????
  • 2) They want us to tarmac the car park and provide markings to highlight parking bays, disabled spaces etc. They also want the entire car park illuminating to the health and safety departments’ satisfaction.
  • I argee with the lighting for the safety reasons, it is dark around the building but easily sorted this one! How ever tarmac the car park is silly. Why? with lighting why should this be an issue? People should look where they are walking! A parking bay why? there is more than enough space. Disabled signs at the front of the building will sort that out.
  • 3) They want us to build a Disabled toilet block.
  • Agreed
  • 4) They want a failsafe emergency backup for the electrics so in the event of a power cut, lighting will automatically kick in from a battery source to enable people to safely leave the facility in hours of darkness.
  • Agreed
  • 5) And the main problem is – the Highways agency wants the gates moving back to a minimum of 5mtrs from the road edge, and the entire wall all the way up to the toilet block moving back 2.5mtrs from the road edge to aid visibility when exiting the facility.
  • I have been using the same exit since I first went with no issues. Never had a accident stupid Jobsworths!



  • Its seem the council have successfully closed down a social group, evicted a paying customer from a local businessman's property, made one person redundant ( if a new venue can not be found).

    Just reaffirms to me whats wrong with this country! More important matters at hand like get the country back in the black and these guys are wasting time, effort and money closing Ardent down. STUPID!!!!
    Racway 1820434819259101075

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