On 10th January 2017, The Jockey Club unveiled its ambition to invest a record sum into British Racing over the next decade – a nationwide programme of investment totalling more than £500 million, designed to benefit our sport and all who participate in and enjoy it.
This would represent the largest contribution any organisation has ever made to British Racing over a ten-year period. It will allow us to invest in our facilities, tracks and training grounds all around the country, contribute record amounts to prize money funding, and do more to support good causes in our sport. In the past, The Jockey Club has relied on raising relatively modest amounts of business debt in addition to its commercial profits, in order to reinvest large amounts of money into British Racing. However, this injection of £500m into the sport, has the potential to deliver a step-change in the quality of British Horseracing over the next decade.
A large part of this sum will come from running our diverse range of operations effectively, while the remainder is conditional on us raising in excess of £100 million from the future redevelopment of our estate at Kempton Park. All monies over this amount will also be reinvested back into the sport.
Before the end of 2016, the local authority to Kempton Park – Spelthorne Borough Council – issued a ‘Call for Sites’ within the borough to put themselves forward to help to address unmet local housing needs. The local authority also launched a Green Belt Review.
After careful review, The Jockey Club has submitted its estate at Kempton Park for consideration for future redevelopment due to the once-in-a-generation opportunity this presents to generate significant capital to reinvest back into supporting British Racing nationwide, as per its Royal Charter commitments. Even if successful, this is a process expected to take several years and in the meantime normal operations will continue.
If future development is approved, it is likely to be at least 2021 – at the earliest – before there are any changes to racing operations. If it is not approved, then Kempton Park will continue as a racecourse venue.
The Jockey Club’s Board of Stewards has given a lot of thought to these decisions and has not taken them lightly. However, they are confident that the package we announced, will see British Racing’s interests best served in the long-term, in line with our Royal Charter commitments.