Plans for new cinema, park and racecourse in Newmarket unveiled

© Concept for a new entrance to the cinema - from the High Street, Newmarket

A CGI of what a new entrance to the cinema could look like from the High Street, Newmarket - Credit: The Jockey Club

Exciting plans for a new cinema, park and all-weather racecourse in Newmarket have been unveiled following the launch of a public consultation on the future of the town.

The proposals, put forward by the Jockey Club, were presented to people in the town from Monday to Wednesday last week at Memorial Hall, and the consultation is now available online

Under the plans, the Subscription Rooms, which used to house the Horseracing Museum in the town, could be converted into a cinema. 

The proposed concept would involve the conversion of existing buildings, with some additions, in order to create a three-screen cinema.

Proposed cinema, internal foyer: As a listed building, the designs are subject to discussions with

The proposed internal foyer of the cinema - Credit: The Jockey Club

The Jockey Club said the vision for the facility included small, medium and large screen rooms ranging from 38 to 115 seats. 

Initial ideas for the ground floor include a box office and lobby as well as café and gallery space along with access to all three screens. A rear courtyard and garden could also provide outdoor space. 

The idea for a new park on Jockey Club land was also proposed on the large hill and lower marsh of the Seven Springs site in the town. 

A new road, off Exning Road, would provide access and the existing cycle network would link to new trails within the park.

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The trail network would loop through the existing woodland, natural springs, and enhanced wetlands, with a number of seating features and rest points en route, Jockey Club bosses said. 

© An artists impression of a new community park with café and lookout point.

A country park has also been proposed at the Seven Springs site in the town - Credit: The Jockey Club

A small community barn or café would be at the highest point of the park, providing a key vantage point, and a children’s playground is also proposed.

A racecourse, with the potential for year-round training, is also proposed on land behind the Rowley Mile.

The floodlit training and racing facility, which would feature a right-handed circuit, would be based on gallops land behind the Rowley Mile known as Southfields Farm. 

The Jockey Club said if the facility were to be considered for race meetings, then it is envisaged that it would not be a large spectator facility.

It is more likely to be a small intimate complex to hold industry attendees and a small proportion of public racegoers if they wish to attend.

The possibility of a residential development at Pinewood Stud was also put forward. 

An artist’s impression of how an All-Weather Training and Racing facility in Newmarket might look, s

An artist’s impression of how an all-weather racing facility in Newmarket could look, with the Rowley Mile in the distance. - Credit: The Jockey Club

Amy Starkey, managing director for The Jockey Club’s east region, said: “We are grateful to everyone who has taken part in the consultation so far and look forward to continuing the conversation about how we can shape a vibrant future for the town together.

“Newmarket has been The Jockey Club’s home since we were founded in 1750 and we are passionate about playing our part in its future.

“We’ve had some valuable feedback on the ideas we’ve presented and some excellent discussions about new ideas from members of the community, including from a group of students who visited from Newmarket Academy.”

The Jockey Club said it is keen to hear feedback on the plans, which are still in the early concepts and ideas phase, by Friday, April 22.