The Board of Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) has approved capital
development grant aid of €183,000 for Down Royal Racecourse, to carry out
improvements to its facilities which will cost in the region of €457,000. The
grant aid, through the HRI Racecourse Capital Development scheme, will go
towards projects to commence in early 2017, to provide significant improvements
for Owners and Trainers, re-roofing of the main grandstand, and a
re-configuration and modernisation of the weigh room and jockeys changing area.
A new permanent Owners and Trainers marquee will provide
Down Royal with a dedicated area for Owners and Trainers, located trackside
just after the finish line. The
Governor’s Stand, facilitating the Owners and Trainers viewing gallery, located
on the rooftop of the existing wine bar will also be refurbished. The works will include new terracing, a slip
resistant resin compound decking to the external surface of the stand, and
re-installation of the existing crowd barriers.
The roof of the existing 25-year-old grandstand will be
replaced with new insulated roof panels, flashing, gutters and seals, thus
considerably extending the lifespan of the facility.
The jockeys changing rooms, showers, sauna, canteen and weigh
room are 14-years-old, and although they are very well maintained throughout,
require extensive modernisation.
Proposed works include the replacement of the current sauna, together
with a remodelling of the toilet room, and improvements to the main changing
area and jockeys canteen.
Brian Kavanagh, CEO
of HRI said,“Down Royal is one
of our most progressive racecourses and these redevelopments will help to improve
the course and provide safe, modern and effective racing facilities. Owners, trainers and jockeys in particular
will see the benefits of the significant improvements planned and we are happy
to provide grant aid to facilitate these worthwhile projects.”
All 26 racecourses in Ireland were eligible to apply for
funding under this scheme with HRI providing 40% of the cost of approved
projects. It is estimated that the entire Racecourse Capital Development Fund
will support in the region of 1300 direct and indirect jobs during the course
of its completion.
Mike Todd, Down Royal
Racecourse Manager added, “This is an exciting new development for Down
Royal which is part of our overall strategy to continue to develop our
facilities to ensure we can deliver a first-class experience to all racegoers.
Owners and trainers are integral to our sport and this development will allow
us to improve their raceday experience at Down Royal whilst also increasing our
covered catered areas for the general racegoers.”