June 20 2013 Latest news:
Greg Miles, Twitter: @greg_KOS_sport
Friday, July 27, 2012
Delay in re-development plans threatens future of track
Folkestone Racecourse is set to close at the end of the 2012 season because of delays over re-development of the site.
It was hoped that the future of the only racecourse in the county would be secured by a new housing development, and reconfiguration of the track.
But hold ups in granting planning permission has seen the course’s owners Arena Leisure and Northern Racing announce it will temporarily close the facility while it works to iron out problems with Shepway District Council.
The track will close temporarily after its last meeting on December 18th.
The company has also announced it will permanently close its Hereford Racecourse.
Tony Kelly, managing director said: “Folkestone suffers from out-dated facilities and has been the subject of detailed discussion between the previous management, Arena Leisure, and Shepway District Council for several years now.
“The proposal for the site incorporated significant residential development, which would have enabled a new racecourse to be constructed with much enhanced amenities.
“However, these plans have been delayed following the recent Examination in Public of the local plan. Discussions will continue with Shepway District Council in the hope that there will be approval of development plans which would secure the future of the racecourse. If they succeed, work to reconfigure the racecourse could commence in 2013.
“Every effort to continue trading at these racecourses has been explored but it is with regret that a variety of circumstances means that this is no longer possible, therefore both Hereford and Folkestone racecourses will therefore cease trading at the end of the 2012 season.
“The fixtures will be transferred to other racecourses within the group, where we will be able to offer increased prize money and better quality facilities for connections and racegoers alike.”
He added: “Hereford is owned by Herefordshire County Council and run under a lease arrangement.
“Attempts to extend the lease, which has 17 years remaining, have been unsuccessful. Despite being unviable for several years we have supported the racecourse but much-needed investment, required to breathe new life into the racecourse, cannot be justified in the absence of a long-term future for the business.”
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