HIGHBRIDGE’S Oaktree Arena could soon be hosting major worldwide speedway events which would be broadcast round the world on Sky TV.

Somerset Speedway has been approached by national and international speedway governing bodies to host major events, as it is regarded as having one of the best tracks in the country.

The events under consideration are the Elite Riders Championship which has been earmarked for possibly as early as September.

Excited bosses at the arena say that it would put Somerset on the sporting agenda globally and be a huge boost to tourism.

The arena has already played host to the Premier League Pairs Championship fixture which took place on July 11, which Sky attended and drew a crowd of 3,000 speedway fans.

The event was shown live to millions of fans on Sky and it is hoped future events would have the same knock-on effect.

Ian Jefferies, a tourism manager for the Burnham and Highbridge area, said: “I am a big speedway fan and it is fantastic news that these big events will be staged soon.

“When Sky came down recently they filmed all round the town and used the clips on the programme.

“You couldn’t get better PR for the area.”

Bosses at the arena have now applied to Sedgemoor District Council to vary a condition on their planning permission to allow these national or international events to be held on a Saturday which fits in with Sky’s scheduled TV coverage.

Somerset Speedway says it wants permission to hold only one of these Saturday events a year and the weekend slot would not be used for local meets.

A two-hour practice session will also be needed before the major international events, to allow foreign riders to get a feel of the track and test their bikes.