Neil Hayward appointed as Chair of newly created Industry People Board

29 Nov 2022 BHA Features Financial/Political
  • Industry People Board created to create and drive racing’s whole people strategy as a result of year-long fundamental review
  • Funded by the Horserace Betting Levy Board and Racing Foundation
  • Neil Hayward brings a wealth of experience from working with private, listed and public organisations in the UK and abroad

Neil Hayward has been appointed as the first chair of racing’s Industry People Board, leading a new function within the sport with the remit of driving and ensuring delivery in efforts to recruit, train and retain British racing’s workforce and promoting welfare, equality, diversity and inclusion.The creation of the Industry People Board follows a comprehensive process overseen by a steering group comprising the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), Horserace Betting Levy Board (HBLB) and the Racing Foundation (RF).A number of key changes were identified as being necessary by the review, which led to the creation of the Industry People Board. These include future-proofing the industry by ensuring the concerns of the current and future workers in racing are considered and ensuring areas such as equality, diversity and inclusion and modern working practices are addressed.Work on skills development and improvements to the workforce pipeline will address staffing shortfalls, while shifts in mindsets and cultures can transform behaviours within racing’s businesses to ensure they are attractive places to work in order to improve retention levels.All of this is in the wider public interest as well as the sport’s itself, as a healthy racing industry has the capacity to strengthen rural economies across Britain, with some 20,000 people currently employed in such areas through the racing industry.The Industry People Board will be the single point of accountability for the industry’s workforce strategies, with its work forming part of the wider Industry Strategy, which racing’s leaders committed to working towards earlier this year.Neil Hayward brings to the role of Chair more than 25 years of experience, including in Board and Executive Team Leadership positions at High Speed Two Ltd, Post Office, BT, Ministry of Justice, Standard Chartered Bank, Gallaher Group, Serco Group and Booker, as well as in the NHS and Higher and Further Education.In the course of carrying out these roles and more, he has developed a track record in employee engagement and equality, diversity and inclusion initiatives, significantly improving workforce and organisational performance across organisations in a range of sectors.Neil Hayward said: “I’d like to thank Julie, Alan and Rob for the trust they are placing in me by appointing me as Chair. I’m really looking forward to working with them and many others to make our new Industry People Board a success.”Julie Harrington, Chief Executive of the BHA, said: “If we are to ensure that British racing has a bright and vibrant future then it is imperative that we are attracting, training and retaining talented individuals across our industry, making sure that people can see opportunities for personal growth, development and progression within racing.“I am excited therefore to welcome an individual of the calibre of Neil Hayward to the position of Chair of the Industry People Board and would like to thank the Horserace Betting Levy Board and Racing Foundation for their initiation, involvement and funding of this important work.”Alan Delmonte, Chief Executive of HBLB, said: “HBLB invests around £3m a year directly into the areas to be covered by the people strategy.“Filling key roles, developing skills in racing and supporting people welfare are key Racing Outcomes for HBLB.“As the principal funders, we and the Racing Foundation initiated this review to ensure that the significant funds provided in this area are tied to a detailed strategy and implementation plan.“It has been very positive to see widespread support in the sport for dedicated focus in this area.”Rob Hezel, Chief Executive of the Racing Foundation, said: “The significant investments formerly made by the Racing Foundation and the HBLB on the people agenda have not, to date, had the impact we would have expected.“This project has identified the importance of having the right skills and independent governance arrangements if improvements are to be delivered.“Therefore, we are delighted to have appointed Neil and look forward to supporting him, the People Board and the rest of their team moving forward.”Notes to editors:1. British racing’s leaders agreed on the need for a new Industry Strategy to offer radical change to the racing product from 2024 following a meeting in September.2. The announcement of a new governance structure for the sport flowed from this work.3. An image of Neil Hayward is available on request.