A £45m redevelopment of Cheltenham racecourse, which will include a new 6,500-capacity grandstand and Royal Box, has been approved by Cheltenham Borough Council.

The new grandstand will replace the current “A&R” boxes block, which was built in the 1920s. It will include new annual members’ facilities, public viewing areas, private boxes and the Royal Box.

The site’s owner, the Jockey Club, has scheduled work to begin immediately after the 2014 Cheltenham Festival (11 – 14 March) and will aim to have it completed ahead of the Festival in 2016.

Ian Renton, Cheltenham and South West regional director for Jockey Club Racecourses, said: “I am delighted that Cheltenham Borough Council has approved the application and am most grateful for the very positive support received from the local community.

“The new development will enable us to provide facilities for our racegoers in keeping with the quality of the National Hunt Racing on offer at Cheltenham and ensure that Cheltenham racecourse enhances its status as a world-class sports venue for many years to come.”

During the construction period, Cheltenham expects racing to continue as normal.

Festival tickets for 2014 are on sale now. Visit: www.cheltenham.co.uk

This news story was first published in Horse & Hound magazine (25 July 2013)