Planning permission was granted last night for a £45 million pound redevelopment of Cheltenham racecourse. It's the racecourse's largest-ever investment in new facilities and includes a new grandstand and multi-tiered viewing platform for the parade ring.
Work is due to start after the Festival meeting next March and is not expected to disrupt the race programme at Prestbury Park.
Cheltenham Borough Council has granted planning permission to the £45 million redevelopment of Cheltenham Racecourse. Work is due to go ahead after next year's Cheltenham Festival in March.
I am delighted that Cheltenham Borough Council has approved the application and am most grateful for the very positive support received from the local community. The new development will enable us to provide facilities for our racegoers in keeping with the quality of the National Hunt Racing on offer at Cheltenham and ensure that Cheltenham Racecourse enhances its status as a world-class sports venue for many years to come.
– Ian Renton, Cheltenham and South West Regional Director for Jockey Club Racecourses
Grand National-winning rider Mick Fitzgerald has spoken of his sadness and of the risks involved in racing after it was revealed by the family of rider JT McNamara that the serious neck injury he suffered in a fall at the Cheltenham Festival has led to paralysis.
Leading amateur McNamara, 37, was injured when Galaxy Rock fell at the first fence in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup and had to be airlifted to Bristol, where he remains, although plans are to be made for a transfer to Dublin in due course.
Fitzgerald told Sky Sports News: "It's a mixture of sadness, it's the end of a great career for a jockey who was an amateur and did it because he loved the game.
"When it happened at the time a sombre (mood) descended on Cheltenham, everyone had everything crossed and plenty of people were praying their worse fears wouldn't be realised.
Cheltenham Racecourse has unveiled plans for a £45 million pound redevelopment at Prestbury Park. They include building a new grandstand and multi-tiered viewing platform for the parade ring. It's hoped work will start after the Festival meeting next March.
Not everyone is enthusiastic about the Cheltenham Racecourse development.
Racing commentator John McCririck, now recovered after falling ill recently at the Cheltenham Festival, says that he'd have liked to see a major redesign, with the parade ring brought to the front of the stand.
But Cheltenham Racecourse director Ian Renton responds to Mr McCririck's criticism:
Leading amateur jockey JT McNamara is reported to be in a "stable condition" following surgery on the serious neck injury he sustained at Cheltenham on Thursday. The 37-year-old was injured in a first-fence fall and was airlifted to hospital after being treated by the on-course medics.
Conscious following the fall according to officials at the track, the leading amateur rider was put in an induced coma before his transfer to Frenchay Hospital in Bristol. McNamara underwent surgery on fractured vertebrae yesterday.