Plans for the redevelopment of the central area of Newbury racecourse have been approved, ensuring the project is still on course for the start of next year.

The redevelopment will focus on the improvements to racing and hospitality and a range of apartments along The Mile Straight.

This approval follows an earlier consent in September for family homes in the western area.

“This will significantly improve the racing experience – particularly for the racing staff, trainers and owners,”said Newbury racecourse’s Sarah Hordern.

“It will enable us to provide stable staff with overnight en-suite accommodation that will set new standards of comfort and welfare. There will also be a new horse walk and refurbished stables as well as a dedicated owners’ and trainers’ car park and entrance.”

The plans have been welcomed by the racing industry.

Chief executive of the National Association of Stable Staff Jim Cornelius said: “Newbury racecourse has proved the value it places on the stable staff by investing in and providing the very best, dedicated raceday facilities for them.”

Ms Hordern added: “The redevelopment will enable us to safeguard the future of racing at Newbury and the heritage of this 1905 course.

“Throughout the works racing will continue – it will be business as usual.”

The project is expected to take 12-years with building starting in late spring/ early summer 2012.

Around 300 new jobs for local people will be created as a result of the redevelopment.

For more information visit: www.newbury-racecourse.co.uk