Five substantial ‘tented’ structures will be built at the centre of a Newmarket racecourse to offer increased protection from bad weather and create a ‘vibrant raceday atmosphere.’

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The application would see one canopy erected at the entrance of Rowley Mile Racecourse with another adjoining the parade ring and further structures built in the main raceday concessions court yard and The Boulevard.

Documents submitted to St Edmundsbury Borough Council also reveal the racecourse plans to grub up large areas of hard-standing and replant as lawn.

Amy Starkey, Regional Director, East Jockey Club Racecourses said the application was part of “Newmarket Racecourses’ vision to improve facilities and the visitor experience on The Rowley Mile.”

“The first part of the project is located between the racecourse public entrance and the rear of the Millennium Grandstand,” she added.

“The area will create a boulevard area with catering, entertainment and betting opportunities, all of which will create a sense of arrival from the entrance and generate and retain atmosphere.

“Works are scheduled to commence at the end of the spring racing season on The Rowley Mile, when the summer racing season commences on our neighbouring racecourse, The July Course.”

Ms Starkey said it is hoped the works will be completed for the opening race meeting back on the Rowley Mile on September 20 as part of The Newmarket Open Day Weekend.

She added: “We are excited about the project and believe it will improve the customer experience.”

The application says the tented structures “pick up the gentle curve of the adjoining parade, create covered areas for mobile concession units while maintaining and emphasising the main public circulation routes.”

As well as providing protection from “inclement weather” it is hoped the designs “achieve a sense of atmosphere and identity to the area proposed for the canopies, which at present is hard, sterile and characterless.”

The application states that the design has evolved as a result of detailed discussions between the Racecourse and key stakeholders.

However due to a desire deliver the scheme in time for the 2014 Racing Season, the planning documents state “time hasn’t been available to consult with the wider community.”

Instead, presentation boards of the proposal will be displayed at future race meetings “to involve and gain feedback from the racing community.”

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