Racegoers to Cheltenham will be greeted by a very different vista this season as preparatory work on the new £45million grandstand, which is due to open ahead of the 2016 Festival, is well underway.
The 2 buildings that were situated between the main grandstand and the end of the permanent buildings by the horse walk have been demolished. From mid-November onwards a 3-tiered, temporary structure will be in place. It will be called the Arkle Stand — the 2014 Festival is the 50th anniversary of the legendary racehorse’s first Gold Cup win. It will house a new Royal Box, hospitality boxes, bar facilities and enhanced viewing.
The Tote Terrace, comprising of Tote facilities, the Lawn Bar, the Annual Members’ Bar and public viewing will remain in place until after the 2014 Festival.
In addition, the old numbers board, which was positioned next to the paddock, has been removed as part of the development works. This has allowed for the unsaddling enclosure to be enlarged to accommodate large fields. A big screen will be positioned in place of the numbers board, which will be operational for all race days.
Ian Renton, of Jockey Club Racecourses, said: “This is the start of an exciting new era for Cheltenham racecourse, with enabling work on the very exciting new development already complete. Following next year’s Festival the main project will begin which will provide much enhanced facilities for our racegoers by the 2016 Festival.”
Racing gets underway at Cheltenham on 18 October.