The Jockey Club, the largest commercial group in British horseracing, today (28 March) announced plans to make its largest ever, investment in racecourse facilities at its flagship Cheltenham Racecourse.
Earlier this month the course had attracted 235,000 people to the 2013 Cheltenham Festival.
Subject to planning permission, the proposed development will see a new grandstand which will include new annual members’ facilities, general public viewing areas, private boxes and Royal Box facilities.
The major renovation from The Jockey Club, which runs 15 racecourses in the UK, will include new elevated walkways to improve mobility.
Susie Bradshaw, Conference and Events Manager at Cheltenham Racecourse, told CN: “The development is for the betterment of the whole destination and customer experience at the racecourse. It builds on the £20m that has been invested over the last 10 years, specifically on building the Centaur, the 2,250 seated conference auditorium.
“Inevitably there will be a positive knock on affect for our growing non-race day business. We have seen a growth year on year of confirmations, footfall and spends in the live events market and can only see the development further adding to this. It will also mean that our competitor set shifts as we take on the more traditional midland and south-west exhibition spaces.”
Jockey Club Racecourses claims to have invested £80m in facilities at Cheltenham over the last 30 years. In the last 10 years, it invested £155m in new facilities and upgrades across its racecourse estate, including two new grandstands at Aintree (£31m) and one at Epsom Downs (£28m).
Subjects to permissions and financing being put in place the main development at Cheltenham will begin immediately after the 2014 Festival with a scheduled completion date ahead of the 2016 Festival.
Paul Fisher, Group Managing Director of Jockey Club Racecourses, added: “Cheltenham Racecourse is not only one of The Jockey Club’s crown jewels, we recognise it is the home of Jump racing and one of the great theatres in British sport. It is vital we continue to invest in its appeal, the experience it offers and its success.
“We propose to finance the development at Cheltenham through a range of commercially-sound methods, on which there will be more news in the coming weeks.”
Ian Renton, Cheltenham and the South West Regional Director of Jockey Club Racecourses, said the development would provide new opportunities through additional hospitality areas and viewing boxes to generate revenue to reinvest into racing.
“We look forward to submitting a detailed application to the planning authorities for their consideration in April?and excited about the improved customer experience that we will be able to offer.”
Do you have news for CN? Email: email@example.com