Despite there being no races, Cheltenham Racecourse was a hive of activity this summer as work commenced to get the site ready for the £45million redevelopment. SOPHIA BRUDENELL, the new communications manager at Prestbury Park, talks about the plans.
PREPARATORY work on the new £45million grandstand to be built at Cheltenham Racecourse, which is due to open ahead of the 2016 festival, is on schedule and will be completed ahead of the start of the 2013/14 racing season.
When Cheltenham opens its doors on Friday, October 18, race-goers will see a different landscape since the old A&R buildings have been removed over the summer.
Two buildings have been brought down, including the one which housed the Royal Box.
They were situated between the main grandstand and the end of the permanent buildings by the horse walk on to the course.
From The Open onwards, which takes place in mid-November, a three-tiered, high-quality temporary structure will be built, housing a new Royal Box as well as hospitality boxes, bar facilities and steppings in front of the stand, providing enhanced viewing of the course.
The structure will be similar to those which are seen at other major racing and sports events.
The stand will be called the Arkle Stand, as the festival in 2014 is the 50th anniversary of the champion’s first Gold Cup win. The extra bar and viewing facilities will result in improved customer experience as neither facility was available previously.
The Tote Terrace, comprising Tote facilities, the Lawn Bar, the Annual Members’ Bar and viewing facilities, will remain in place until after the 2014 festival.
In addition, the old numbers board, which was positioned next to the paddock, has been removed as part of the development works. This has allowed for the unsaddling enclosure to be enlarged, to accommodate large fields.
A large screen will be positioned in place of the numbers board, which will be operational for all race days.
For information about the development, visit Cheltenham.co.uk