Today Arena Racing Company (“ARC”) has reiterated its commitment in the company’s £10 million investment plan for Newcastle Racecourse. Under ARC’s management Gosforth Park will be transformed into a global sporting venue with the introduction of a new all-weather track and additional improvements to enhance the experience for all racegoers.
The planning application for a new floodlit all-weather surface on the flat track and enhanced racing facilities, including a glazed tiered restaurant, was unanimously approved by the Newcastle City Council Planning Committee in April. Following this the British Horseracing Authority (“BHA”) gave permission for Newcastle Flat turf fixtures to be transferred to the all-weather surface upon completion of the new track.
Since the start of 2014 ARC had been in discussions with the BHA regarding the proposed race programme at Newcastle. As part of these discussions ARC put forward proposals to ensure that the current balance in the race programme, specifically in relation to rule (F)26.1, could be maintained across afternoon and twilight fixtures hosted at Newcastle on the all-weather track.
In light of todays unwelcome delay in the project ARC remains committed and confident it can resolve race programme issues with the BHA, as well as owners and trainers. ARC will continue to work to ensure Newcastles all-weather track will host fixtures as part of the 2016 Fixture List.
From the advent of this exciting project, ARC has had a positive dialogue with the BHA, the Newcastle City Council and the Newcastle business community, including the North East LEP and North East Chamber of Commerce. ARC would like to put on record its gratitude for the help and support it continues to be shown by all of the forenamed organisations.
Tony Kelly, ARC Managing Director said: “The transformation of Newcastle Racecourse will be the biggest investment project ARC has ever undertaken and follows on from the companys £2 million investment in the new Tapeta surface at Wolverhampton and launch of the successful All Weather Championships last year.
“The benefits of a northern all-weather track are very clear. These include greater racing opportunities, an improved race programme for horses all year round and reduced travelling costs for owners. Newcastle remains the most viable option for delivering these for horsemen.
“We will continue to work with the BHA and look forward to embarking on this exciting project in August 2015.”
David Williamson, Newcastle Racecourse Executive Director, said: “This is an ambitious and prestigious project for Newcastle. The racecourse facilities we hope to have in place by the middle of 2016 will ensure we better meet the needs of horsemen based in the north, as well as putting the city firmly on the global stage, attracting new visitors and creating local jobs.”