Over 130 jobs lost as Towcester racecourse shuts down

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  • More than 130 staff at Towcester racecourse have been made redundant after the business went into administration.

    Mark Orton and Will Wright from KPMG’s restructuring arm were appointed as joint administrators to the Towcester Racecourse Company Limited on 21 August.

    A total of 134 of the racecourse’s 137 staff have lost their jobs, with just three people remaining to help the joint administrators while they seek a buyer for the business and its assets.

    Towcester is a popular National Hunt track, known for its final uphill gallop to the finish, and is where AP McCoy rode his 4,000th winner (pictured, top).

    The course’s fixture list currently features 10 dates, with the first meeting this season scheduled for 10 October and the last in May 2019.

    It is also a greyhound racing venue and was home to the prestigious England Greyhound Derby.

    “In recent months, the company has experienced significant financial difficulties and the directors have been working with shareholders and stakeholders to identify a workable long term solution,” said Mr Orton.

    “Sadly, this has not been possible and as a result the directors have taken the difficult decision to place the company into administration. This, unfortunately, resulted in the redundancies.

    “We will be working with all affected employees and the Redundancy Payments Office to ensure the full range of support is available.

    “We will also be exploring the possibility of securing a sale of the business and its assets and would encourage any interested parties to contact us as soon as possible.”

    The first indication to the public that the racecourse was experiencing difficulties came on 16 August, when a statement was released on the Northamptonshire venue’s website.

    “Towcester Racecourse Company Limited, proprietors of Towcester racecourse, are currently experiencing trading difficulties and are in discussions with key stakeholders and professional advisors on the way forward,” read the statement.

    “However, the directors have concluded that they have no alternative in the short term but to seek court protection and are now taking steps to place the company into administration.”

    The greyhound meetings scheduled the following day (17 August) and that weekend were cancelled.

    “Whilst inevitably there will be considerable interest from customers, supporters and suppliers, the directors ask that they be given time to focus on exploring other options for the business and they anticipate there will be a further update in the next few days,” the statement added.

    The directors remain hopeful that despite the current situation, given the significant history of horseracing and more recently greyhound racing at Towcester, there will be significant interest from potential acquirers.”

    Any parties interested in the business and its assets are invited to call Gareth Shaw on 0121 232 3288.

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