Arena Racing Company (ARC) has announced it is to acquire greyhound stadia in Newcastle and Sunderland from bookmaker William Hill.

ARC will be responsible for the operational running of both venues, and will be in charge of the 160 employees that work at the two sites.

ARC has also reached an agreement to join GMG, a group that represents the media rights of 12 greyhound tracks in the UK. GMG now represents about 70 per cent of the greyhound fixtures shown in licensed betting offices through the Bookmakers Afternoon Greyhound Service (BAGS).

The two venues host 520 greyhound racing fixtures a year, of which 384 are part of the BAGS schedule.

ARC chief executive Martin Cruddace said: “We are really delighted to have moved at pace and acquire the tracks and join our new partners at GMG as part of a long-term deal. We very much look forward to working with the great teams at both stadiums and developing our relationship with the greyhound industry.”

Brent Dolan, director of operations at GMG, added: “We are very pleased to welcome ARC and are delighted that they see the merit of working closely together in producing what we aim to be the best greyhound racing available anywhere in the world. We look forward to working with BAGS to continue to produce a cost effective and value product for the UK LBO market and to export GMG racing worldwide.”