24 Sep 1998 Pre-2014 Releases

“The Directors of BHB have completed their review of policy regarding new racecourse development and can now publish “”Guidelines for the Development of New Racecourses””. These have been distributed to potential would-be investors who have approached BHB, as well as the 59 existing racecourses.
Details of the BHB guidelines are as follows:

The BHB wishes to provide constructive guidelines on its approach to the possible granting of fixtures to new racecourses which for the purpose of these guidelines includes both new sites and new racetracks within existing racecourses. In so doing, the BHB recognises that other bodies, including the Jockey Club, Horserace Betting Levy Board and the Racecourse Association will need to be consulted by applicants in respect of matters within the jurisdiction of those bodies.
BHB does not wish to discourage potential new racecourses but in present circumstances its approach has to lay particular stress on the prospects of any development generating increased net revenue for British Racing. Its approach must also take into account and balance the needs of racehorse owners, racegoers, punters and the off course betting industry and have proper regard both to the additional capacity of existing racecourses to accommodate new fixtures and the size of the current horse population. One of the effects of the implementation of BHB’s Financial Plan for British Racing would be that room for manoeuvre would increase because of its beneficial impact upon the horse population.
All applicants for new racecourses whether for transfer of fixtures or allocation of new fixtures, will have to satisfy minimum requirements for their application to be considered which will be:
provision of sufficient capital, based on a realistic and sustainable business plan, from sources other than the Horserace Betting Levy Board;
facilities appropriate to the type and size of operation envisaged;
the provision of a significant input to prize money from executive or sponsorship contribution, at least in line with comparable current racecourses;
full compliance with standards laid down in the Jockey Club’s racecourse manual.
It is probable that applicants incorporating a facility for Flat AWT racing under floodlights will be advantaged.
The BHB expects that to a material degree investors seeking fixtures for any new racecourse will have to acquire them from other racecourses by transfer from within the present list and, in part to that end, has recently devised a scheme whereby such transfers can be facilitated.
However, BHB is prepared to consider granting between 5 and 10 new fixtures at its discretion to a new racecourse which in addition to satisfying BHB that it will fulfil the criteria in paragraph 2 above, must also satisfy BHB that it will attract a new public to Racing. It is unlikely that this criterion would be fulfilled by establishing a new racecourse within close proximity of one which is to continue in operation.
Quite exceptionally the BHB might be prepared to consider increasing the above number of new additional fixtures provided the new racecourse was of a size, quality and design that would in BHB’s opinion make it a ëflagship’ course comparable to the best in the country with the potential to provide significant financial benefit to British Racing as a whole.