Grant secured for Down Royal redevelopments

Wakea rode by Donagh Meyler

2:00 Race 3 Billecart-Salmon Handicap Hurdle during the 2016 Down Royal Festival of Racing on November 5th 2016 in Lisburn , Northern Ireland (Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye)
Wakea rode by Donagh Meyler 2:00 Race 3 Billecart-Salmon Handicap Hurdle during the 2016 Down Royal Festival of Racing on November 5th 2016 in Lisburn , Northern Ireland (Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye)

The Board of Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) has approved capital development grant aid of €183,000 for Down Royal Racecourse.

The funds will go towards improvements to its facilities which will cost in the region of €457,000.

The grant aid, through the HRI Racecourse Capital Development scheme, will fund 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.”

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.”