“The British Horseracing Board is to restrict the increase in fees and publication prices for 1999 to 3.5 per cent, in line with inflation. This has been made possible, notwithstanding significant increases in activity levels and in the volume of transactions, by continuing rigorous control of costs by BHB and the Jockey Club.
The Racing Administration Fund, which covers the costs of BHB (including its contract with Weatherbys) and the Jockey Club, provides in 1999 for operating costs of £14.93m (1998: £14.54m), an increase of just 2.7 per cent. Income is set to increase to £14.77m (1998: £14.37m). It remains BHB policy that fees should be kept at the minimum consistent with the need to provide adequate funds for cost-effective racing administration.
The Fixture Fee will be reduced by 3.2 per cent from £4,650 in 1998 to £4,502 in 1999, as a result of the assumption by the National Joint Pitch Council of responsibility for the functions previously carried out by Jockey Club ring inspectors and of continuing Jockey Club and BHB efficiencies.
Racecourses’ entry handling charges will be increased by an additional 1.5 per cent to cover specifically the roll out and maintenance costs of The Racing Industry Computer Link (TRICL).
The Board has also agreed to increase next year’s grant to the Amateur Jockeys Association, in respect of expenditure attributable to participation in FEGENTRI from £9,700 to up to £20,000.
The Board will contribute a guaranteed £186,300 to the AHT’s key Diagnostic Service in 1999, an increase from £180,000, in line with inflation. It will also ask both the TBA and the RCA to increase their grants to the total service next year.
The establishment of the BHB Public Relations function, under Communications Director, Peter Bell, has been financed through savings in Marketing overheads and third party consultancy advice. However, BHB’s investment in Direct Marketing will increase by 9 per cent to £515,000 (1998: £472,000). Details of BHB’s 1999 Marketing Plan will be released in the New Year.
Rhydian Morgan-Jones, Chairman of the Finance Committee, commented:
“”The Board is pleased to have been able to increase its contribution to the AHT Diagnostic Service, which provides such a valuable support to the Industry, without the need to increase the surcharge on owners’ entry fees which will remain at £1.20 in 1999″”.