Horse Racing Ireland Approves Major Redevelopment Project for Galway Racecourse
The Board of Horse Racing Ireland has approved funding for Galway Racecourse of c. €2.1 million for a substantial redevelopment of the enclosure to the North of the parade ring, under the Racecourse Capital Development Scheme. The upcoming development represents an overall investment of c. €6 million by the racecourse, including all ancillary services and fit out. As part of the redevelopment project, the existing long, narrow Tote Ireland building will be demolished and replaced with a new structure incorporating a betting hall and bar/food facilities.
The development will vastly improve the enclosure around the parade ring and bookmakers ring. The repositioning of the new building will create much greater circulation space for racegoers which will enhance the atmosphere and create ease of movement even on the busiest days.
Construction of the new building will begin immediately after the 2017 Galway Summer Festival with a launch date ahead of the 2018 festival planned.
The two-storey building will feature a large, open- plan betting hall with capacity for up to 550 racegoers on the ground floor, with Tote Ireland betting counters on three sides and a large betting shop on the fourth side. Externally, there will be 46 Tote Ireland betting windows, with the majority facing the racetrack. The windows will be set back to provide weather protection to racegoers.
A modern champagne bar with a high standard of décor will provide a new level of comfort for Galway patrons on the first floor of the new building. With capacity for 450 people, the champagne bar will open onto a large covered terrace overlooking the parade ring, betting ring and part of the racetrack. A sizeable portion of both upstairs and downstairs will be dedicated to new toilet facilities.
Brian Kavanagh, Chief Executive of Horse Racing Ireland welcomed the project.
“Galway Racecourse’s new development will provide an attractive focal point in the enclosure and an improved level of comfort and shelter for racegoers. Removing the existing Tote building will reconfigure a traditionally congested area around the betting ring and parade ring, opening up pedestrian access and improving the enclosure layout. Galway’s seven-day festival is our most popular festival and HRI is happy to provide grant aid for a project that will directly benefit racegoers who head West every year.”
Michael Moloney, Manager of Galway Racecourse, commented: “We are delighted to receive support from Horse Racing Ireland for our next redevelopment to add to the first-class facilities we have here at Galway. The Committee at Galway has always been proactive in continuing to improve the facilities and this latest €6 million development will significantly improve the racegoer experience which is paramount to maintaining Galway’s position as one of the highlights of the summer racing calendar. Each year, the Summer Festival puts Galway on the front pages and provides an extraordinary €54 million boost to the local economy.”