The British Horseracing Authority (BHA), the Horsemen’s Group and the Racecourse Association (RCA) today announced the appointment of the first Chairman and Trustees of The Racing Foundation, the charity established for the purpose of overseeing the distribution of funds to charitable causes within Racing following the sale of the Tote. The BHA, the Horsemen’s Group and RCA are the three joint Members of the charity.
The sale of the Tote by Government to Betfred was announced a year ago this week. Following the sale it was confirmed that half of the net proceeds, approximately £90m, would be transferred to Racing. In March this year the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) revealed that the money would be delivered to the sport through two channels, a new charity, The Racing Foundation, and a grant scheme.
It was announced today that Roger Weatherby, Chief Executive of Weatherbys Bank, has been appointed the inaugural Chairman of The Racing Foundation. Joining him as trustees are Kirsten Rausing, Sir Ian Good and Michael Harris.
Roger Weatherby said of his appointment:
“It is an honour to have been given the responsibility of chairing The Racing Foundation. Between them, my fellow trustees all have considerable and invaluable experience of not only the Racing industry from a variety of perspectives but also charitable foundations. We are looking forward to working together and are all agreed that the income we receive will be used to establish a lasting legacy from the net proceeds of the Tote sale.”
The Racing Foundation has already received approximately £10 million in funding from DCMS and the Department has committed to release a further £10m of the sale proceeds per annum for the next three years.
Roger Weatherby added: “We anticipate that in each of the next three years a minimum of £8 million per annum will be transferred to the Foundation and we understand that a further sum of approximately £50m of the sale proceeds shall be available to Racing in future years, although the allocation for the Racing Foundation is yet to be agreed.
“The Foundation is therefore due to receive a large amount of money in a relatively short timescale, which will not be available to it again. A key objective for the Trustees will be to build an endowment that provides the sport with a sustainable long-term income stream for good causes. In the meantime, the Foundation will be supporting individual projects and charitable causes using the interest generated from the received funds.
“We will host a seminar in September to which all Racing related charities will be invited and where we will outline our future strategy, including the timeframe for bids to be registered and answer questions as to how the Foundation will operate. No applications should be submitted before the seminar.”
The remaining funds will be available to a non-charitable grant scheme to be administered by the BHA on behalf of DCMS. The aim of the scheme is to give the Racing industry an opportunity to provide for non-charitable initiatives, while still adhering to the constraints State Aid and other factors have placed on the use of the funds. The amounts shared between The Racing Foundation and the grant scheme from the £10m annual payments from DCMS will be decided annually by the BHA Chairman’s Committee in agreement with DCMS.