Ownership change at racecourse

Yarmouth Racecourse is to become part of a larger group under proposed ownership changes announced yesterday.Sir Stanley Clarke, who will be chairman of the enlarged group, said that Yarmouth would have a strong future under the new arrangements and that a multi-million-pound programme of improvements would continue as planned.

Yarmouth Racecourse is to become part of a larger group under proposed ownership changes announced yesterday.

Sir Stanley Clarke, who will be chairman of the enlarged group, said Yarmouth would have a strong future under the new arrangements and that a multi-million-pound programme of improvements would continue as planned.

"Work on the previously announced new stand, a £2m investment, will start shortly," he said. "We shall carry on improving the course and I am sure we will be very successful, in co-operation with the council."

Attendances at Yarmouth have increased 10pc this year, the first in which Sir Stanley's Northern Racing has been in full control. The company signed a deal in 2001 to lease the course for 125 years, taking an 81pc stake and leaving the rest with Yarmouth Borough Council, which previously ran the course.


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Now Northern Racing, which owns eight racecourses, is to be acquired for £34.1m by the smaller AIM-listed Chepstow Racecourse plc in a reverse takeover. The deal is subject to approval by shareholders, who will vote next month.

The tie-up builds on existing links as Sir Stanley, a member of the Jockey Club and owner of 1997 Grand National winner Lord Gyllene, has substantial stakes in both companies.

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The 70-year-old will have a 57pc stake in the enlarged group, which will be one of the UK's top three racecourse operators, with courses at Bath, Brighton, Fontwell Park, Hereford, Newcastle, Sedgefield and Uttoxeter, as well as Yarmouth and Chepstowe.

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