9 Dec 2011

Racing to return to Essex?


The future of Great Leighs Racecourse has been the subject of much speculation over the past few months – even years, will it be sold, will it be built on, and most importantly will racing ever take place there again? 
Good news to all you racing fans! The racecourse is set to become a “world class venue” thanks to new investors. Its new owner, MC Racetracks Limited, plans to build a hospitality complex followed by a state of the art grandstand in 2014. MC Racetracks bought the racecourse from Royal Bank of Scotland subsidiary, West Register Limited a fortnight ago.
Speculation had been rife for some months that MC Racecourses would acquire the site; at an Essex County Council meeting on 23rd September, a solicitor representing Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), David Dagg, told councillors: “The potential owner, MC Racecourses Ltd, has already been in negotiations with the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) and hopes to be running Great Leighs again within two years.” – sending the rumour mill into overdrive.
West Register bought Great Leighs from the adminstrator in 2010, and this project will mark a fresh start for the racecourse, which went into administration and closed less than a year after its first public race meeting in May 2008.
Its new owner, MC Racetracks Limited, plans to build a hospitality complex followed by a state of the art grandstand in 2014.
MC Racetracks chief executive Tony James said: “This has been a long and complicated process but to finally exchange contracts has been a tremendous achievement and we can now look forward to next year when the hard work will really begin.”
MC Racetracks approached the British Horseracing Association earlier this year for help in the licensing process, the new owners will start the licensing process in January.

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