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Newmarket, regarded as the headquarters of racing in the UK, has moved a step closer in its bid to host a national horseracing hall of fame.

Plans to restore the derelict mews stable block adjacent to the historic Palace House in the town centre were last week approved by Forest Heath District Council’s community services committee, giving the go-ahead for the estimated £250,000 revamp, hoped to be completed by next September. The project could also see the National Horseracing Museum, currently in the High Street, move to Palace House.

The other leading contender to host a hall of fame is Ascot Racecourse, itself in the early stages of major redevelopment work.

The British Horseracing Board (BHB), fully supportive of the concept, is known to be closely monitoring progress on both proposed locations with a view to possible future endorsement of such a project.

Will Lambe, communications executive for the BHB says: “The Racing Review committee strongly recommends that the industry build a national hall of fame at a suitable location in order to showcase the history of British racing and honour the sport’s most famous contributors. An annual selection process and induction would provide the sport with a powerful marketing and media opportunity.”