Great Leighs Racecourse: buyer found for Essex track

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  • Racing could be set to return to Great Leighs racecourse in the next few months as administrators announced today (Thursday 7 May) a buyer has been found for the Essex track.

    Administrators Deloitte hope to exchange contracts next Friday (15 May) with local businessman Terry Chambers.

    “We have entered into an exclusivity agreement with Terry Chambers, the owner of Ashfields Carriage and Polo Club in Essex, to purchase the Great Leighs racing complex.

    “We aim to exchange contracts on Friday 15 May,” said Carlton Siddle, joint administrator and Deloitte partner.

    Racing has been suspended at Great Leighs since 16 January when the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) refused to renew the course’s temporary licence.

    If the sale goes through, racing at the Essex track is still dependent on it gaining a license from the BHA.

    “Assuming – the contracts are exchanged then responsibility for resolving any outstanding issues around the site, and for obtaining a racing licence for Great Leighs will pass to the new owner,” added Mr Siddle.

    A spokesman for the BHA added: “As far as issues related to racing at the Great Leighs racecourse are concerned, the situation remains unchanged.

    “We have not received a licence application and will not speculate on whether or not Great Leighs will be able to partake in the 2010 fixture process.”

    In March Deloitte announced that there were two bidders interested in the racecourse — but neither met their financial requirements.

    Now Mr Chambers is involved in a deal rumoured to be at least £10m.

    Mr Chambers bought Ashfields Carriage and Polo club in 2003. Previously a dairy farm the site has now been transformed into a state-of-the-art equestrian yard with three blocks of stables set in 200 acres in Essex.

    Currently it hosts events for the Pony Club, Riding For Disabled Association and British Driving Society, as well as polocrosse, dressage and show jumping events.

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