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SBD Global/March 6, 2014/Facilities

British Construction Firm Kier To Complete New Grandstand At Cheltenham By 2016

Cheltenham will receive a new $75M grandstand in time for the 2016 festival.

The Jockey Club said on Wednesday that British construction firm Kier will build the new £45M ($75M) grandstand at Cheltenham racecourse "and finish it in time for the 2016 festival," according to Keith Weir of REUTERS. The Jockey Club, which owns the course in western England, said that it had finalized funding "and that work would begin properly after the festival next week." The new grandstand, with capacity for 6,500 spectators, "will replace a smaller 1920s block where private boxes including the one for the royal family are located" (REUTERS, 3/5). The BBC reported nearly £25M ($42M) was raised through the Jockey Club Racecourse Bond -- "the first retail bond in UK sport." The remaining sum "has been secured through a combination of bank financing via the Jockey Club's syndicate banks" -- HSBC, AIB and RBS, a Levy Board capital fund loan, commercial deals, and from the Jockey Club's general cash flow. The current royal box, which was built in '52, and 55 other boxes, which were built in the 20s and 30s, "will be demolished" (BBC, 3/5). The GLOUCESTERSHIRE ECHO reported the development "will create a state-of-the-art new grandstand alongside Cheltenham's existing main grandstand." It "will include new annual members' facilities, general public viewing areas, private boxes, a Super Club and the Royal Box." The project "will also see the creation of elevated walkways to ease mobility for customers and provide a multi-tiered amphitheatre experience around the parade ring." Around 235,000 people "are expected to descend this year's The Festival" between Tuesday and March 14 (GLOUCESTERSHIRE ECHO, 3/5).

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