The biggest development in 11 years at Market Rasen racecourse is set to take place this year with the extension of the Tattersalls Enclosure.
If planning permission is given, the £800,000 investment will offer the racecourse greater capacity in its most popular enclosure for the major events that it now stages.
Three sell-outs in that part of the racecourse during 2013 showed the need for the venue -– which is part of The Jockey Club, the largest commercial group in horse racing -- to cater for larger audiences in Tattersalls.
The ambition of the racecourse was illustrated last month with the announcement of its biggest combined racing and music day on Saturday 16th August when Wet Wet Wet will be in concert.
The racecourse has this week applied for planning permission to West Lindsey District Council and, subject to consent being received, the construction work will take place in the summer and autumn.
The first phase will be the demolition of the old Family Enclosure grandstand. The Tote Exacta bar will then be doubled in size and the capacity of the Tattersalls Enclosure increased.
The aim is to complete the development by the end of November in time for the traditional Boxing Day fixture which has averaged 9,000 spectators since the turn of the millennium.
Pip Kirkby, general manager of Market Rasen racecourse, said: “This is an exciting development for the track as we stage increasingly popular major racing days. It illustrates the confidence that The Jockey Club has in Lincolnshire’s only racecourse that this investment is being made. This is a good day for sport and entertainment in the county.
“Subject to planning approval from the local authority, we will get the work under way as soon as we can. The aim is to have everything completed in good time before our popular Boxing Day meeting.”
In the meantime, sales have already begun for the opening ‘Rasen Rocks 2014’ concert with Wet Wet Wet after racing on 16th August. Tickets start at just £23 for adults and £8 for children (aged 5 to 17 years). Children’s tickets are limited in number (200 per enclosure), so early purchase is advisable. There is a maximum of four children’s tickets per paying adult.
Tickets for all racing fixtures at Market Rasen can be bought in advance online at www.marketrasenraces.co.uk or on 0844 579 3009. Savings of up to 25% are available on advance purchases.
Market Rasen racecourse is staging 21 jump racing meetings in 2014 and is a leading conference and events centre.