Beverley Racecourse has revealed plans for a new grandstand – the largest single investment in the history of the venue.
The racecourse has submitted an application to East Riding of Yorkshire Council for full planning permission for the £4.8m development which will provide an enhanced customer experience and additional hospitality opportunities for racegoers.
The new grandstand will provide improved viewing for spectators, both inside and outside the building; expanded and enhanced catering and hospitality facilities; and fit-for-purpose kitchens, toilets and other amenities.
The grandstand would replace the existing 1960s main stand which has rudimentary facilities and no disabled access beyond the ground floor.
Terracing in the new, fully-accessible grandstand will have tiered viewing areas offering a more casual and social experience for racegoers and bar and dining areas will be glazed so customers can enjoy excellent views onto the course and also back across Beverley’s picturesque Westwood.
The ground floor will feature a new entrance, a large open bar and new gaming area while the first floor will feature a high-quality bistro, for casual dining overlooking the course.
The top floor will provide an extension for the racecourse’s exclusive Premier Enclosure, with semi al fresco dining on a balcony offering unrivalled views of the scenic course.
On non-racedays the grandstand will offer excellent facilities for meetings, conferences, exhibitions, dinners and other events.
Sally Iggulden, Chief Executive at Beverley Racecourse, said:
“These plans will provide the racecourse with the modern, fit-for-purpose facilities we need to meet the expectations of racegoers today and into the future, as well as having a competitive offer for other events.
“The new grandstand will be built on the same footprint as the existing stand and be the same height as the current structure, to ensure there is no additional impact on our beautiful setting.
“We’re very sensitive to our location. The existing stand is a bit of an eyesore – it’s a typically 1960s structure that doesn’t blend in particularly well with the surroundings. We’ve been very careful in the design of the new stand to ensure it will complement the Westwood.”
The grandstand project will be managed to ensure there is minimal disruption to racing and racegoers.
If planning permission is granted, demolition of the existing grandstand would begin in September 2019, following the end of next year’s racing season.
Foundations and the concrete base for the new grandstand would be put in place during the off season and a new temporary “village” with viewing areas, bars and toilets put in place for the 2020 season.
Construction of the new grandstand would then begin in September 2020, with completion scheduled for April 2021 in time for the start of the next racing season.
Ms Iggulden added: “We’ve remodelled the existing grandstand over the years, but it simply can’t provide what we want and need.
“Instead of making the best of an old building that is no longer fit for purpose, we have decided to make this investment in a new stand which will see us into the future and enable us to retain Beverley’s position as a highly-respected racecourse and venue.
“We’re growing our attendances each year and we continue to be an industry innovator. To continue to do that, and compete in the leisure market, we need modern facilities that give customers what they expect from a day at the races.
“With interest rates at historically low levels there’s no better time to invest in a major capital project. It’s been on our wish list for a number of years and we feel now is the time to go ahead.”