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Promoters of the Ulster Grand Prix, the Dundrod and District Motorcycle Club (DDMC) and the Ulster Grand Prix Supporters Club (UGPSC) are together urging race fans and Dundrod residents to oppose plans for a 96 acre cemetery on the race circuit.
The two organisations say they are united with a majority of local residents in their opposition to the planned site on Quarterland Road, which have been submitted to Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council. A number of local politicians including Alderman James Tinsley have met with DDMC, UGPSC and the residents on several occasions and are fully supportive of the opposition.
The only access to the cemetery would be via the Ulster Grand Prix circuit.
"This proposal is fundamentally incompatible with the long established Ulster Grand Prix circuit," said Robert Graham, Chairman of the Dundrod & District Motorcycle Club.
"This event is one of the biggest annual events in the road racing calendar, attracting tens of thousands of visitors from across the world. The economic impact is significant; spectator spend alone generates an estimated £2.5 million every year, and there are more than 10,000 commercial bed nights.
"In social and cultural terms, the Ulster Grand Prix is part of the established fabric of the area and all steps must be taken to protect this important local event.
"The applicant has suggested the concept of closing the cemetery on the days of racing, which is simply not practical. In planning terms, such a condition would be viewed as unreasonable and we believe this suggestion to be meaningless because it is clearly unsustainable.
"There's also the flexible road closing order 'Road Races (Northern Ireland) Order 1986 Amendment Act (Northern Ireland) 2014' to consider, whereby we can swap the day the roads close with 24 hours notice to avoid cancellation of the race altogether due to inclement conditions.
"What would we then do if we changed racing from a Thursday to a Friday only to discover that numerous burials had been planned for that day? It would create utter chaos and an impossible situation," he added.
Des Stewart, Chairman of the Ulster Grand Prix Supporters Club said: "The cemetery proposal will serve the Greater Belfast area and with such a large population base, it is likely that there would be frequent funerals and visitors to graves on a daily basis, just like at Roselawn.
"It is customary in Northern Ireland for funerals to be held within three or four days of a death, and for daily access to be afforded to those wishing to visit graves.
"The ambience of a cemetery of this magnitude is irreconcilable with the nature of a high adrenaline sport such as motorcycle road racing, during which the public access roads to the cemetery would be closed, and I just do not see how the two can co-exist in harmony.
"We believe that if it were to go ahead, it could seriously hinder our ability to continue to run one of Northern Ireland's longest running and largest outdoor events, and one which has a massive economic impact," stated Mr Stewart.
Robert Graham added: "Quite apart from economic implications of disruption to such a large scale event, we believe that the infrastructure in the area would be unable to cope with the sheer volume of traffic that a cemetery of this size would bring.
"The accident rate in that area is already high and given the mountainous terrain, roads are regularly affected by and forced to close due to climatic conditions such as snow.
"There are no streetlights, no footpath, no public transport links and the fields are often waterlogged. We cannot fathom how this site has been chosen as an appropriate location for a business of this nature. It is simply not suitable."
The Dundrod & District Motorcycle Club and the Ulster Grand Prix Supporters Club invite local residents and the wider racing community to write to the council voicing their objections. The address is: Local Area Planning Office, Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, Island Civic Centre, The Island, Lisburn, BT27 4RL. Quote planning reference LA05/2016/0700/O.
Wed Aug 3 2016
Promoters of the MCE Ulster Grand Prix have announced the release of a new fan app, designed by Sportego.
The app, which is free to download to Android and iOS devices, provides fans with the latest news, rider statistics, circuit information and details on ticket purchase and more.
The app has been purposefully designed to combine informational and interactive features, allowing fans to easily access the MCE Ulster Grand Prix website, YouTube and the MCE UGP Facebook and Twitter accounts. There is also an interactive “Tagboard” which is streamed to the app, and allows fans to share their thoughts and photos, all at the click of a button.
Clerk of the Course at MCE Ulster Grand Prix, Noel Johnson said: “This app is a fantastic means of encouraging people to engage with Bike Week. It will allow users to learn more about their favourite competitors, the circuit set-up and even gives up to date weather information to ensure that fans can be where they want to be, when they want to be, and can be dressed appropriately for the weather too!
“We have focused heavily this year on improving our digital communications through the implementation of this app and also the creation of an MCE Ulster Grand Prix Snapchat account, because we want our fans to be able to get the most out of bike week and really engage and get involved with us.”
Tue Jul 26 2016
The Ulster Grand Prix is proud to announce that its new title sponsor is the UK and Ireland's number one bike insurer, MCE Insurance.
The high profile, independently owned motorcycle insurance company, who also headlines the British Superbike Championship, has agreed a significant three-year deal to sponsor the world's fastest road race, which will now be known as the MCE Insurance Ulster Grand Prix.
Commenting on the deal, MCE's CEO Julian Edwards said: "We are incredibly proud to finally release the news that we will be the title sponsor for the MCE Insurance Ulster Grand Prix.
"We have been interested in sponsoring a road racing event over in Ireland ever since we began offering insurance for Irish bikers back in 2014, when the opportunity at the Ulster came up it was one we just couldn't refuse! With such an incredible history, the event truly is a jewel in the road racing calendar!
"We intend to bring all our experience gained over nearly a decade of sponsoring MCE BSB and very much look forward to working with the UGP
team. Racing is in our blood here at MCE and this is a very exciting new chapter for us."
"We are truly delighted to make this major announcement, which marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter for the Ulster Grand Prix," said Noel Johnston, Clerk of the Course at the Ulster Grand Prix.
"We've seen and been impressed by the support MCE Insurance has offered the BSB in the past eight years. This a company that understands bikes and the mentality of both bikers and bike fans, making it a fantastic fit for us and one which we believe will allow us to really build our profile as the world's fastest road race across the UK, Ireland and beyond.
"For us, MCE's decision to commit to a three year deal is a clear demonstration of confidence in the strength of our event, which undoubtedly offers some of the most thrilling racing seen anywhere on the roads, and its ability to offer significant exposure and value to its partners.
"It goes without saying that there would be no event without the support of our stakeholders, and this is an opportunity for us to thank MCE for getting involved, as well as organisations such as Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, Tourism NI and the Ulster Grand Prix Supporters Club, plus a wide range of private sector sponsors for their ongoing support. We will have more news on this front in the coming weeks.
"As our recent decision to introduce a superpole qualifier for the superbike class for the first time in road racing shows, we are working hard behind the scenes to deliver another spectacular week of racing this August, and I don't think the fans will be disappointed," added Noel Johnston.
The MCE Insurance Ulster Grand Prix will take place between 8th - 13th August at Dundrod, Co. Antrim.
Key events are the Dundrod 150 on Thursday 11th August and the Ulster Grand Prix on Saturday 13th August. There will be practice sessions on Wednesday 10th and Thursday 11th August and a full programme of entertainment each night in the hospitality marquee.
General admission wristbands and tickets for the Joey Dunlop Grandstand are now on sale with Ticketmaster.
You can also follow us on
Twitter @UlsterGrandPrix and find us on Facebook.
Tue May 24 2016
Mon May 23 2016
After many years as hard working club President, Andy Pinkerton has decided that it is time to hand over the reins. Andy’s successor was elected at the recent Annual General Meeting and is long serving committee member, Bertie Bradford.
Sun May 22 2016
Pictured from left to right: Gail Baillie, UGPSC Secretary, club member Trevor Armstrong and Vanda Robinson, Press Secretary.
Thu Mar 3 2016
By now you will have received your mailshot advising that your 2016 UGPSC membership is now due for renewal. The 2016 membership pack costs £15 or Euro 20, and this year contains the metal lapel badge, woven patch, car sticker and race card of events.
Also enclosed with renewal letters is a book of raffle tickets for the 2016 Club Draw - as this is a major source of income for the club please help us if you can. Please return your raffle ticket stubs along with raffle monies and membership renewal by using the envelope enclosed. For all our avid collectors - Team Wood have commissioned a limited edition badge to commemorate the opening of the David Wood Ulster Grand Prix House. Funds raised will go towards the completion of the inside of the building. These are available for you to purchase alongside your membership or in person at the NI Motorcycle Festival at its new venue - The Eikon Exhibition Centre, Balmoral Park, Sprucefield which takes place 5 - 7 February 2016.
Tue Feb 2 2016
UGPSC will be at the Dromara Destroyers Bike Show.
We invite all members and non-members to come along to the stand and have chat with us.
The event includes a chat show with World and British Champions and a special Tribute to our four World Champions.
In association with Lisburn City Council
Lagan Valley Leisureplex, Lisburn
Friday 13th Nov 5pm - 10pm
Saturday 14th Nov 10am - 5pm
Don't miss it....
Sun Nov 8 2015
Austrian rider, Horst Saiger was declared the winner of the UGPSC Sammy Glass Trophy after becoming the fastest newcomer in the second Superbike Race at the Ulster Grand Prix. Vanda Robinson and Des Stewart (Chairman) made the presentation on behalf of the Ulster Grand Prix Supporters Club
Mon Aug 17 2015
The UGPSC Committee held their annual 'Meet The Riders' Chat Show on Friday, 7 August 2015. Once again the race fans flocked to the VIP Marquee at the Dundrod Circuit to hear their idols answer questions and recount various racing stories.
The event was again hosted by UGP and Isle of Man TT Race Commentator Chris Kinley who was this year, most ably assisted by road racer Paul Owen. Welshman Paul has been racing at the Ulster now for 22 years and this year he was delighted when he gained his first pole position!
This year's panel of riders were Peter Hickman; Dan Kneen; Derek McGee; Dean Harrison; Glenn Irwin; James Cowton; Bruce Anstey; Dan Cooper and Matthew Rees.
above right: Glenn Irwin and Bruce Anstey share a joke at the UGPSC Chat Show.
below: From left to right: Vanda Robinson (Press Secretary, UGPSC); Peter Hickman; Derek McGee; Dan Kneen; Dean Harrison; Matthew Rees; Dan Cooper; Glenn Irwin; Bruce Anstey; James Cowton; Gail Baillie (Secretary, UGPSC) and co-host Paul Owen (missing from the photograph is host Chris Kinley).
Photo: Credit John Kelly
Sat Aug 15 2015
The Ulster Grand Prix Supporters Club are delighted to announce that new for 2015 will be the Radio Ulster Grand Prix, Earpiece Radios. These are pre-tuned to the Radio UGP FM frequency, and also have the facility to search for other FM stations in whatever area you are in. During race week the Radios will be on sale from the club trailer which will be parked adjacent to the marquee at the Dundrod Circuit and also local outlets. PRICE only £5.00. It is expected that these will sell out fast, so get there early to avoid disappointment, and ensure you don't miss a minute of the exciting race commentaries.
Tue Jul 21 2015
Anyone still wishing to contribute to the Buy a Block Campaign can still do so, details are available on the Ulster Grand Prix
Mon Jul 20 2015
We have launched our new Facebook page and would like to encourage everyone to like and share the page, with a target of 1000 likes by Raceweek!!
Come on - can we do - follow the link and get liking and sharing.
Sat Jul 18 2015
For the first time in the history of the Ulster Grand Prix Supporters Club, one of our Vice-Presidents has completed a hat trick of wins and a further two podium places at the Isle of Man TT.
Congratulations go to our Vice-President, Ian Hutchinson on his outstanding successes during the 2015 Isle of Man TT which took place last week.
Hutchy’s return to the winners rostrum began with second place in the RST Superbike Race, then he followed that with three successive wins in the Monster Energy Supersport Race 1, the RL360 Superstock, and the Monster Energy Supersport Race 2 respectively. To round off the week he was back on the rostrum in third spot in the PokerStars Senior race.
In 2010 Hutchy also made history at the TT when he became the first rider to win five races in one year, unfortunately later that year he was involved in a collision at Silverstone and sustained serious leg injuries. His return to racing has been well documented, and his drive and determination to return to the top of his sport has become a reality this year.
Well done to Ian Hutchinson, we look forward to seeing you at Dundrod in August.
Photos – Stephen Davison
Sun Jun 28 2015
The lucky winners of the 2015 Ballot were drawn at the recent Annual General Meeting:-
Wed May 20 2015
Lots happening in the Ulster Grand Prix paddock this week! David Wood UGP House is starting to take shape!
Wed May 13 2015
Tue Feb 3 2015
The Dundrod & District Motorcycle Club (DDMC) has announced that construction work has officially begun on the new ‘David Wood Ulster Grand Prix House’ in the paddock at Dundrod, named after the well known road racer and team manager.
In a ceremony on Tuesday, 16th December, first ground was broken on the project that is to become the future home for the Ulster Grand Prix race office and will also be used for meeting rooms and commentator posts.
The promoters of the Metzeler Ulster Grand Prix, the DDMC have worked together with The David Wood Project, Lisburn City Council and the Ulster Grand Prix Supporters Club to fund the project, while road racing fans also made significant contributions.
James Courtney, President of the DDMC and member of the David Wood Project said: “After many years of planning and fundraising we are delighted to see construction begin on the new ‘David Wood Ulster Grand Prix House’.
“The new facility will be a fantastic addition to the paddock and it is a fitting tribute to David, who contributed so much to road racing through his teams and his dedication to nurturing young talent.
“On behalf of those involved with the project, I would like to thank everyone who has given their support. I’d also like to thank Alpha Programme, which is administered by Groundwork NI, who secured over £50,000 and all of the architects and engineers who have provided invaluable assistance.”
The Alpha Programme re-distributes landfill tax funding from the nearby Mullaghglass landfill site, operated by Alpha Resource Management.
Warren Bell, speaking on behalf of the Alpha Programme, said; “We are delighted to be able to make such a positive contribution to the facilities at Dundrod, which is a stone throw away from our base at Mullaghlass and we can’t wait to see David Wood House on its completion.”
Des Stewart, Chairman of the Ulster Grand Prix Supporters Club said: “The support from fans has so far been fantastic. Our ‘buy a block’ campaign has been a great success, raising over £15,000 towards the cost of the build, and every person is not only contributing to the project but to the future of the Metzeler Ulster Grand Prix.
“It will provide a great space for both road racing and the local community, and we’re looking forward to seeing the completed building.”
Lee Wood, wife of the late David Wood said: “Road racing was a huge part of David’s life and it’s great that his memory will live on in this way.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone that has contributed so far and I look forward to seeing the completed building. It will provide a great home for the sport David loved.”
Construction work is scheduled to finish in Spring 2015, and it’s not too late to ‘buy a block’ for the David Wood Ulster Grand Prix House.
Contact the Ulster Grand Prix Supporters Club for more information, or visit the Adelaide Motorcycle Festival in the Kings Hall this February.
To find out more, visit www.ulstergrandprix.net. You can also follow @UlsterGrandPrix on Twitter and find us on Facebook.
Thu Dec 18 2014