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Suffolk: Chamber welcomes findings of horseracing economic study

PUBLISHED: 16:11 27 January 2014 | UPDATED: 12:17 28 January 2014

Suffolk Chamber chief executive John Dugmore, centre, and president, Peter Funnell, with Sophie Able, eastern region head of sales for the Jockey Club, including Newmarket Racecourses.

Suffolk Chamber chief executive John Dugmore, centre, and president, Peter Funnell, with Sophie Able, eastern region head of sales for the Jockey Club, including Newmarket Racecourses.

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New research showing that Newmarket’s horseracing industry is worth more than £200million to the local economy has been hailed by Suffolk Chamber of Commerce as a “a prime example of business being Good for Suffolk”.

The chamber has adopted “Business is Good for Suffolk” as its campaign theme for 2014, with a programme of activity planned to highlight and showcase the many ways in which business has a positive impact on everyday life in Suffolk.

“There is no doubt as we focus on the impact of business on Suffolk in 2014 the role of Newmarket and the 8,500 local jobs alone it creates is fundamental to our economy,” said John Dugmore, Suffolk Chamber chief executive.

“People come from across the UK and Europe to Newmarket and from such things as temporary ‘events-related’ employment alone we can see wages totalling nearly £80 million coming out of the home of racing.

“The great success of Newmarket is a great example of how so many people benefit from a thriving and exciting business. As well as employment in the racing and breeding establishments, which are some of the best in the world, there are many opportunities for small firms which supply goods and services.

“This report is an opportunity for them to look and work with us and others about they can be best prepared to make the most out of being on the doorstep of Newmarket and all it offers.”

The study, published last week, identifies what it describes as “promising signs of potential for further growth in the horseracing industry” around Newmarket.

A recent stud purchase by an overseas investor, seen as a growing force in the sport, is cited as expected to lead to substantial additional investment.

In addition, the National Heritage Centre for Horseracing and Sporting Art is predicted to increase visitors and with them increased local expenditure, including discretionary shopping in Newmarket town centre.

“Nationwide, horseracing is a thrilling sport enjoyed by millions, brings in billions of investment and provides a livelihood for so many,” said Matthew Hancock MP, Minister of State for Skills and Enterprise and Member of Parliament for West Suffolk.

“As the report shows, its historic headquarters of Newmarket remains right at the centre of that today. It is encouraging to see the report identify the potential for the home of horseracing to contribute even more to the economy in future years.”

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