New Hospitality Complex to be built at Great Leighs Racecourse

Essex Chronicle

The owners of the Great Leighs Racecourse plan to build a new hospitality complex on the track, despite a bid to host races in 2013 being turned down.

Last month the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) decided not to include the Essex track in next year’s flat racing calendar, forcing the owners to reapply to start racing in 2014.

But despite the setback, Great Leighs owners MC Racetracks this week stated their desire to replace the old De Boer grandstand, dismantled last year, with a new hospitality complex, and say they will host and equine festival in April next year.

The scheme is backed by Bet Solutions International, the parent company of MC Racetracks’ broadcast partner BETSI, and will include restaurants, bars, lounges and conference rooms.

Tony James, CEO of MC Racetracks, told the Chronicle: “After the disappointment of the BHA decision regarding the 2013 fixtures this confirmations from BETSI is very much welcomed.

“the fixture decision delays the start of racing at Great Leighs but it does not affect the venues future plans regarding non-racing activities.”

The foundations are already in place and a planning application for the complex will be submitted shortly, it is understood.

Steve Shore of BETSI said: “This is being fully funded by our sponsors and complex operators and will have multi-purpose use for racing and non-racing days.”

Mr James added: “MCR had planned to open the venue with a race meeting but are now looking at an April opening with a festival based on various forms of equine-related entertainment.”


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