Newcastle racecourse: could stage all-weather racing next yearPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Newcastle and Chelmsford City join 2015 fixture process
THE BHA has announced that the applications for Newcastle and Chelmsford City racecourses to join the the 2015 fixture allocation process have been approved by its board.
The consortium behind Chelmsford City - which is led by Betfred founder Fred Done - is bidding to bring racing back to the site of former racecourse Great Leighs which has not raced since 2009. Meanwhile, Arena Racing Company want to convert the existing turf track at Newcastle into an all-weather surface.
The first stage of the process will be the development and subsequent board approval of the 2015 fixture list strategy during which the Deloitte report, which investigates a range of factors relating to the market demand, benefits and potential downsides regarding an expansion of all-weather racing in Britain, will be considered.
The final fixture list for 2015 is due to be published by the end of September.
BHA director of racing Ruth Quinn said: "Having submitted applications which met all of the criteria for new and converted racecourses, both Chelmsford City and the converted Newcastle all-weather track have been granted permission to join the 2015 fixture allocation process.
"However, this should not be interpreted as a guarantee or indication of an expansion of all-weather fixtures or the overall fixture list in order to accommodate new fixtures at either venue.
"We continue to develop the fixture allocation process, part of which involves determining customer demand for fixtures and the scope of the horse population to meet such demand."