Hundreds of spectators enjoyed
the new grandstand at Warwick Races, which was used for the first time
on Saturday following a £3 million improvement scheme.
About 4,000 people were at the
weekend races. There was a top prize of £15,000 for a handicap race
– a record for a flat race meeting at Warwick. Usually the top award
is about £3,000.
The renovated grandstand,
which is a listed building, can now seat about 1,500 people and they
get a better view of the course, where mounds of earth used to obscure
part of the view.
There are five bars, all with
new names, and all updated as part of the new image. But some of the
original grandstand had to remain untouched, as it is listed.
Christian Leech, racecourse
manager, explained it was a tight timescale to be ready on the day,
although work had started 13 months ago. The safety certificate was
only granted on Friday, but the public reaction has been positive.
“The feedback has been
very good and everyone really seemed to enjoy it.
“We were working right up
to the last minute to have it all ready, but now we not got any
racing for another five weeks.
“There is far more room,
and people get a better view. Before people in the grandstand could
only see 50 or 60 per cent of the course, but that is probably up to
90 per cent now.
“We have a few things to
look at, but we are very pleased with it.”
The work cost £3 million,
paid for by Racecourse Holdings Trust and an interest-free loan from
the levy board, that runs a dozen courses across the country.