Chelmsford to build turf track

As the Jockey Club announced plans for an all-weather course at Newmarket, Chelmsford revealed their own ambitious plans.

Chelmsford City have planning permission to build a turf course

The Jockey Club unveiled a 10-year-plan which included the potential closure of Kempton Park and the possibility of building a third racecourse at Newmarket.

The town's trainers are regular visitors to Chelmsford City's all-weather track but the course is around an hour's drive away from racing's headquarters and a new all-weather course in Newmarket would provide stiff competition.

Chelmsford have grand plans of their own and have been granted planning permission for a casino to be included in the planned Racetrack Grandstand which will create the first UK 'Racino.'

Chelmsford City Council supported the company's plans for the Grandstand complex to include a casino, ratifying planning consent for the casino which will add to the 300,000 square foot development.

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The development will also include major new equine facilities and a new turf course on the inside of the existing all-weather surface. Work on the grandstand and turf track is expected to start in 2017.

The development will see the building of a new five storey grandstand as included in the original racecourse planning consent.

Officials are hoping that the move to add a turf track will give Chelmsford City Racecourse a unique position in Europe, in being the first floodlit turf track.

In addition to the casino, the new facilities will include luxury accommodation, a conference centre, casino, sports betting hall and a fitness centre.

Joe Scanlon, Racecourse Chairman, said: "This is fantastic news. Over the course of the last few years, the leading casinos across the world have been changing into multi-purpose complexes offering a full range of leisure facilities to complement their gambling options.

"Here at Chelmsford City Racecourse, we will be the first to offer a fully integrated racecourse 'resort' or leisure destination with entertainment. In a very short time, we expect to become the leading leisure offer in this region, providing high class entertainment and facilities to meet all tastes."

Phil Siers, GLEL Managing Director, added "A leading development like this can only lead to bigger and better support for our racetrack.

"We look forward to the day we are offering a minimum prize fund of £100,000 per meeting and regular turf and all weather racing for our horsemen, trainers, and owners alike, who have supported us through the transitioning of Chelmsford City to a leading race track."

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