11 Aug 2014

Sixteen politicians from across the political spectrum are attending race meetings at eleven tracks all over the country from today to show their support for British Racing as part of Back Your Local Racecourse Week.

Back Your Local Racecourse Week is a joint venture between the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), the governing and regulatory body of British Racing, and the Racecourse Association (RCA), the trade association for 57 British racecourses.

The week is a chance to showcase the importance of British Racing to local communities, both in terms of its economic and employment benefits and the rich entertainment it provides millions of people each year. British Racing is the country’s second most popular sport, attended by over 5.6 million people last year, and generates annual economic expenditure of £3.45 billion while supporting direct, indirect and associated employment for 85,000 people. From grassroots racing through to Royal Ascot, British Racing promotes social interaction and enjoyment, playing a huge role in both rural and urban community engagement across the UK.

Will Lambe, BHA Director of Public Affairs and Policy, said:

“‘Back Your Local Racecourse Week’ is a chance for the attending politicians to experience first-hand the popularity, quality and community value of Britain’s racecourses; each of which generates significant economic activity for their local area. The MPs will get the opportunity to go behind the scenes of a racecourse and gain an appreciation of the significant number of people involved in bringing a raceday to life. The local businesses involved and the range of attending racegoers will convey the importance of racecourses to their community, and the sport as a whole to UK plc.”

Back Your Local Racecourse Week falls at a particularly important time for the future funding of British Racing. A Government consultation on extending the Horserace Betting Levy to offshore-based remote operators, which could generate a potential uplift of over £20 million to the Levy, closes on 21 August. A further consultation into wider Levy reform or replacement is expected to launch later this summer.


Note to editors:

1. Participating racecourses during the week are: Beverley, Carlisle, Fontwell Park, Great Yarmouth, Newcastle, Newmarket, Newton Abbot, Salisbury, Thirsk and Wolverhampton.