The roar of speedway bikes looks set to return to Workington – with a local legend playing a major role in reviving the sport in west Cumbria.

Former racer Steve Lawson, who rode for Workington Comets and starred for Glasgow Tigers, is working with Cumbrian businessman Andrew Bain on plans to enter a Workington speedway team in the National Development League next year.

The pair hope to bring league speedway back to the area for the first time since the 2018 season, which saw Workington Comets win a historic league and cups treble before racing ceased due to financial pressures.

Steve, of Maryport and Andrew, of Carlisle, have asked the British Speedway Promoters Ltd board about adopting the famous Comets nickname for their new team – with discussions expected to continue on the matter.

Work on a new track with a potential capacity of 1,200 at Northside is already under way and Steve, who was in charge of track maintenance at Derwent Park when Comets secured the treble, is heavily involved with its design.

Steve, who is putting hours of work into the comeback, is excited about bringing the famous sound and smell back to Workington.

He said: “I’ve been helping with the track build and we are working on a 290-metre circuit with wide bends and wide straights to FIM standard.

“The aim is a Comets return in the National Development League next season.

“Andrew has purchased 1,200 grandstand seats and we are looking at a setup similar to Scunthorpe and Redcar, two venues which work extremely well.”

With the chances of a return to Derwent Park reduced when the track was torn up to make way for a wider pitch for rugby league club Workington Town, work on the Northside circuit is gathering pace.

The kerb was put in place at the weekend, with the next project the track surface and fencing.

Uncertainty caused by the pandemic has meant that work has taken longer than planned, but the pair are determined to ensure everything goes according to plan to complete a triumphant return for the sport in Cumbria.

When it was just a training facility the venue was hit by vandalism and theft but with new ownership and hours of work to bring it up to league standard, hopes are high of a successful return.

Workington’s last comeback was in 1999, when Ian Thomas teamed up with Tony Mole and fans flocked to Derwent Park in their thousands, leading to club icon Carl Stonehewer becoming a celebrity in the town overnight.

The NDL is still under discussion but, with Oxford ready to take the plunge and the likes of Mildenhall, Armadale, Leicester and Berwick set to return, the league looks competitive again.

Workington would become the second standalone club in the 2022 league alongside champions Mildenhall.