1. ITV Report

Race against time as Cheltenham gets a facelift

The new grandstand is taking shape. Photo: ITV News West Country

Cheltenham Racecourse is almost ready to open it's gates for the first time since construction work began on the £45m redevelopment.

It won't be completed before the 2016 Festival, but this time next week 30,000 racegoers will descend on a radically altered Prestbury Park for the opening meet of the jump season.

Before racing can begin, it's a race against time.

250 pairs of hands working around the clock to get the world's premier race course ready for business.

Some familiar old faces - Best Mate and Arkle have been moved into new positions.

Arkle has been moved to a new position. Credit: ITV News West Country

Spectators will have new concourses and viewing areas to take in the parade ring.

They'll spend less time in queues thanks to more bars and over 200 new toilets.

When finished, this long overdue facelift should transform a dated spectator facility into a more spacious amphitheatre.

The horse is the centre of the attraction.

This new development at the northern end of the racecourse is focussed around the parade ring, which is probably one of the finest parade rings in the UK.

– stephen Limbrick, Architect
Solar panels on the roof of the rebuilt weighing room. Credit: ITV News West Country

The weighing room has been completely rebuilt - with solar panels on the roof.

And plans also include improvements for owners and trainers.

The experience for the owners will be phenomenally different, because at the end of it they will feel space and see space.

They'll be able to move around and be in comfort, which is something they haven't be used to at Cheltenham for a while!

– Kim Bailey, local trainer

Jockeys and other race day regulars will certainly be in for a very big surprise.

Watch the full report by Matthias Kurth here: