CHESTER Race Company is seeking the views of residents as it moves forward with plans for the long-term development of the city’s historic racecourse.

The Race Company will host two public meetings on Monday, July 15 and Tuesday, July 16, from 4pm to 8pm in the Leverhulme Stand at Chester Racecourse.

The Strategic Development Plan (SDP) will be presented alongside plans for two first-phase projects which the Race Company hopes to submit for planning consent later this year.

At the first site, a new hospitality building is being planned to replace existing buildings adjacent to the Parade Ring. The new building will also act as a replacement for the temporary marquees (known as the ‘Tented Village’) that are 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 offices, and operational space for the catering and events division, Horseradish, and for the racecourse grounds and maintenance division.

These two proposals are the first phase of the Strategic Development Plan which outlines the long-term investment strategy. This will illustrate a proposed development programme through to 2039 when Chester, the world’s oldest operating racecourse, will celebrate its 500th anniversary.

Representatives of Chester Race Company and its project team will be on hand to explain the proposals and answer questions. Public comments and views about the proposals are encouraged and comment sheets will be provided.

The SDP comes five years after a Racecourse Masterplan was granted planning consent in 2019. The Race Company say aims and objectives of the plan have been re-assessed in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, the challenging economic circumstances that have followed and the latest trends in the leisure and hospitality industry.

Louise Stewart, Chief Executive Officer of Chester Race Company, said:

“We’re excited to engage with the community to gather valuable feedback on our long-term development plans for Chester Racecourse. Our plans will replace some of the ageing buildings and enhance the experience for guests while respecting the heritage of the world's oldest operating racecourse. The input from our neighbours and the wider community is crucial in shaping the future of the racecourse. We look forward to welcoming everyone to the upcoming public meetings and hearing their views.”