Course celebrates development success

THE building firm behind the new-look major re-development scheme at Newmarket race course says it is “delighted” at the enthusiastic response of race-goers.

THE building firm behind the new-look major re-development scheme at Newmarket race course says it is “delighted” at the enthusiastic response of race-goers.

The £10million major redevelopment scheme, built by regional contractor Kier Eastern, was officially opened in July and has since played host to a record crowd for the site.

The high-speed upgrade, carried out by the building firm's Wisbech office through the winter months, provided greater capacity and modern facilities behind the existing grandstands, enhancing the “garden party” appeal of the July Course, famed for its idyllic setting.

Kier said a “straggling assortment” of ageing buildings behind grandstands has been swept away and racing fans are now greeted by two new entrance buildings and turnstiles leading to an expanded July Course perimeter.


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The main focus is a pair of two-storey pavilion buildings linked by an aerial walkway which house a new bistro, café and bars and offering al fresco dining overlooking the Premier Enclosure.

The scheme, designed by Gloucester-based architect Limbrick Ltd, includes improvements such as a new, enlarged owners' and trainers' terrace bar, new Tote and betting shops and extra toilets.

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The July Restaurant in the Premier Enclosure was also modernised and a new conservatory added at the rear.

Landscaping and replanting including more than 30 semi-mature beech trees was aimed at preserving the rustic character of the setting.

“We are delighted with the successful completion of this landmark project, and the enthusiastic response Newmarket Racecourse has received,” said business development manager at Kier Eastern Roy Wilson.

“One national horseracing commentator has described it as 'the best £10million I have ever seen spent on a racecourse.

“Also, we have just been advised by senior racecourse management that the new facilities at the July Course recently entertained a new crowd record of over 21,000 people on site, and that every race day continues to attract favourable comments from the race-goers.

“This is a terrific result, thanks to the incredible spirit of teamwork by everyone involved.”

Newmarket's managing director Lisa Hancock said they July Course had been “transformed” thanks to the redevelopment and the feedback had been “overwhelmingly positive”.

“The layout and quality of the facilities, the welcoming environment and the feeling of space, even with a capacity crowd, have all been commented upon with almost universal praise,” she said.

“We could not be happier with the finished product and now look forward to phase two of the redevelopment which, subject to the availability of the necessary funding, is due to take place in three or four years' time and will involve, in particular, the demolition and replacement of the head-on stand.”

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