28 Apr 2014 Racing/Fixtures

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has today announced that two applications for new or converted racetracks to enter the 2015 fixture allocation process have been approved by its Board.

The two applications are:

  • From Great Leighs Estates Limited (GLEL) for a new racecourse on the site of the former racecourse Great Leighs, now to be known as Chelmsford City racecourse.
  • From Arena Racing Company (ARC) to convert the existing 1m 6f flat turf track at Newcastle racecourse into an All-Weather surface

The BHA Board has granted approval for both racecourses to participate in the fixture allocation process for 2015. The first stage of this process will be the development and subsequent Board approval of the 2015 Fixture List strategy. The final Fixture List for 2015 is due to be published by the end of September.

Ruth Quinn, Director of Racing for BHA, said:

“Having submitted applications which met all of the criteria for new and converted racecourses, both Chelmsford City and the converted Newcastle All-Weather track have been granted permission to join the 2015 fixture allocation process.

“However, this should not be interpreted as a guarantee or indication of an expansion of All-Weather fixtures or the overall Fixture List in order to accommodate new fixtures at either venue. We continue to develop the fixture allocation process, part of which involves determining customer demand for fixtures and the scope of the horse population to meet such demand.”

Since receipt of the applications, BHA has been in close contact with the applicants to gather and clarify relevant information, as well as seeking advice from external advisors where appropriate. This information was then provided to a Board sub-committee consisting of Ben Gunn, Morag Gray and Chief Executive Paul Bittar, which was previously constituted to deal with new racetrack applications. This sub-committee was delegated authority to consider the applications and to make recommendations to the Board at the meeting on 23 April.

Notes to Editors:

1. GLEL is a different entity to MC Racetracks Limited, which submitted applications regarding this site in each of the last two years.
2. An independent report looking at a range of factors relating to the market demand, benefits and potential downsides regarding an expansion of All-Weather racing in Britain will be considered as part of the development of the 2015 fixture list strategy.

3. The number of ‘start-up’ fixtures which could be offered to Chelmsford City racecourse as part of the new racecourse approval process has yet to be determined and will be considered as part of the 2015 Fixture List strategy.

4. As an existing racecourse, Newcastle has no entitlement to ‘start-up’ fixtures. Newcastle’s fixtures will be considered as part of the wider process, and in consultation with the racecourse.

5. As part of the racetrack conversion ARC also proposed to include a floodlit straight mile. ARC is currently addressing certain operational details already raised by BHA in this area.


For more information contact:

Robin Mounsey

British Horseracing Authority
e: [email protected]