Racing looks set to return to Great Leighs racecourse in 2011.

Deloitte, administrators for Great Leighs, announced on 9 September that an agreement for the sale of the Essex track — for an undisclosed sum — had been reached with a consortium led by Ashfields Carriage and Polo Club owner Terry Chambers and Unex Group chairman Bill Gredley.

The consortium hopes the sale will be completed on 29 September and that racing will return in 2011.

But a spokesman for the British Horseracing Authority said a racing licence has not yet been sought.

The track received praise from jockeys and trainers when it opened in April 2008, but since going into administration in January, the racecourse has suffered a series of setbacks.

In May, a sale agreement was made with Mr Chambers, but he withdrew his offer.

In 2003, Mr Chambers bought Ashfields and transformed it from a farm into a state-of-the-art equestrian centre. When his original offer was revealed, local riders were hopeful his purchase of Great Leighs would provide more opportunities for horse owners in the area.

This news story was first published in H&H (24 September, ’09)