Chester Racecourse GV c CRC

The racecourse will be 500 years old in 2039. Credit: Chester Race Company

Two practices picked as Chester Race Company rethinks

Lovelock Mitchell and hospitality specialist Kay Elliott have been jointly commissioned to prepare a strategic development plan and a first phase of two projects at the course.

At the first site, overlooking the Parade Ring, a new hospitality building is being planned as a replacement for the temporary marquees, known as the tented village, which is currently erected each summer for the racing season.

The second site is at Saddlery Way, where plans are being prepared for a base for Chester Race Company’s catering and events division, Horseradish, and for the racecourse grounds maintenance division.

The twin proposals are the first phase of Chester Race Company’s strategic development plan mapping out its investment strategy through to 2039, when Chester, the world’s oldest operating racecourse, will celebrate its 500th anniversary.

This strategic plan comes five years after a £100m racecourse masterplan, originally refused, was reworked and approved across 2019 and 2020 before the Covid pandemic brought about a reassessment.

Lovelock Mitchell had also been involved in the design for that masterplan, which centred on the replacement of the Leverhulme Stand and the introduction of  improved hospitality. Chester lost its whole 2020 season to the pandemic, and much of the 2021 programme.

Chester Race Company said it will share its draft plans with neighbours and the wider community in a consultation this summer.

Louise Stewart, chief executive, said: “Over its long history the racecourse has adapted to meet the needs of the public, whilst also respecting the heritage of the site, so it’s exciting to embark on the next stage of its evolution to make sure it continues to be successful long into the future.

“Our plan will replace some of the ageing buildings on site, which also gives us the opportunity to reduce the impact of our operations on the environment and improve the presentation of the site.”

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