British horseracing commercial group The Jockey Club has chosen UK construction company Kier to lead a £45m grandstand development at Cheltenham Racecourse, the company revealed on Wednesday.
Kier was selected as main contractor for the development following a highly competitive tender process that involved several leading construction firms. The company has already delivered several major projects at Cheltenham Racecourse, including the £17m project for the construction of The Centaur building. The new grandstand development will have an immediate positive economic impact for the Cheltenham area, as many of those who will work on the development are local residents.
The Jockey Club has reportedly secured the funding of £45m required for the project in a package that includes nearly £25m successfully raised through The Jockey Club Racecourse Bond. The other £20m has been secured through a combination of bank financing via The Jockey Club’s syndicate banks – HSBC, AIB and RBS, a Levy Board capital fund loan, commercial deals and the Group’s available cashflow from trading.
Work will start on a state-of-the-art new grandstand following the end of the Cheltenham Festival next week and is expected to be complete in time for The Festival in 2016. It will be developed alongside Cheltenham’s existing main grandstand and will include new annual members’ facilities, general public viewing areas, private boxes, a Super Club and the Royal Box. Elevated walkways will also be created to ease mobility for customers and provide a multi-tiered ‘amphitheatre’ experience around the parade ring.
Managing director of Kier Construction’s central operations, Ian Cheung, said:
“We are very excited to be appointed main contractor for this prestigious scheme and we look forward to renewing our working relationship with the racecourse team. It is a challenging project, but we will work hard to ensure that throughout the works the impact on the racing calendar is kept to a minimum. Our racecourse team all live locally and are looking forward to delivering this fantastic facility for The Jockey Club and Cheltenham.”