HOME This is a private website. Please click the above headings. Last updated 18th August 2012 This site consists mostly of copies of old newspaper cuttings and other documents that refer to the need for a modern all-weather-athletics track and associated facilities for South and West Dorset. The administrative county of Dorset is believed to be the only English county with no modern athletics track.
West Dorset District Council planned a Synthetic Athletics Track for the then Castlefield School (now the Thomas Hardye School) in the late 1980s before the Duchy of Cornwall put forward their plan for the new Poundbury development. Apparently, the Duchy asked that development should stop until plans for new Poundbury were approved. WDDC apparently put £600,000 on one side for the track.
About 1990, it seems the Council was short of money because of poor payment of the "Poll Tax", postponed the track plan and borrowed the £600,000.
Eventual "Poll Tax" debt collection apparently gave a £1m "windfall" and sale of Council houses in 1993 yielded some £40m for the Council. This large sum was stored until the Council became "debt free".
The £600,000 which would have been more than enough to attract all the necessary Lottery funding for a synthetic track was never re-allocated.
WDDC believed enough money to match Lottery funding was available when plans were drawn up with Dorset County Council and Duchy of Cornwall support in the late 1990s. At the final stage WDDC withdrew support as the Government required Councils to draw up "Sports Strategies".
In 1999 WDDC overturned the advice of their consultants that an athletics track should be provided within two years and considered it was not a high priority for 2000 to 2010.