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Chester Racecourse unveils £50m vision including large conference centre and new grandstand

Date added: 14/02/2018

Chester Race Company has unveiled a £50m masterplan featuring a conference centre for up to 1,000 people plus a brand new grandstand.

The vision aims to enhance the racing experience and improve the Roodee’s all-year round appeal – allowing Chester to compete with Liverpool and Manchester.

Members of the public are invited to view plans at the racecourse later this month after the blue-print was presented to shareholders last month.

An artist’s impression shows the ‘events building’, to the left, catering for conferences for up to 1,000 people, as well as other major events such as dinners, banquets and weddings.

It would be built on top of the car park linked to the Holiday Inn Express, which would be extended by 30-40 rooms.

Most car parking spaces would be relocated to a three-level multi-storey on the other side of the railway line but accessible through the arches.

In the centre of the image is The Pavilion Grandstand, a replacement for the Leverhulme stand, with the most modern hospitality facilities in racing, including boxes and restaurants, overlooking the course.

Taking cars away from the main entrance will allow the racecourse frontage to be extended within a pedestrian-friendly area.

Race Company chief executive Richard Thomas said: "Our ‘Masterplan 2018’ represents a substantial commitment to the development of the Chester Racecourse site and we can apportion many additional benefits from this planned investment to the city of Chester and our local community.

"We have received positive feedback and support from our shareholders and CWAC and now invite members of the public to play an integral part in this project through this consultation.”

The public exhibition will be held in the Pavilion suite, between 12pm and 8pm, on Monday, February 26 and Tuesday, February 27.

Consultation is encouraged and visitors are invited to express their views before planning applications are submitted to Cheshire West and Chester Council in April 2018.

Race company bosses feel the events building will complement the Storyhouse cultural centre which has proved a huge success but can't handle large conferences.

A planning application for the demolition of the Watergate Inn has now been approved and work has begun.

The pub will be replaced with a new public entrance to the County enclosure through a canopied entrance within a pedestrianised Watergate Square. Empty offices created by the race company’s relocation to the nearby HQ building will be transformed into new customer amenities including a bar open all year round.

These improvements will be completed in advance of the first meeting of Chester’s 2018 season on Wednesday, May 9, 2018.


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