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Folkestone - bookmakers - Sept 2012

End times: Folkestone is due to close after next Tuesday's meeting

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (  

Arc offers ray of hope for Folkestone survival

ARENA RACING on Tuesday issued an update on the futures of Folkestone and Hereford racecourses, both due to stage their final fixtures during the next seven days, which offers a ray of hope the Kent circuit could re-open at some stage.

Folkestone, which stages both Flat and jumps racing, will close after next Tuesday's meeting, but Arc continue to explore ways to secure a future for the track, despite Shepway District Council withdrawing their support for the racecourse proposals within the core strategy.

The council issued modifications to the core strategy for public consultation on October 29 2012, following which the board of Arc made representations within that consultation to attempt to secure a future for the track.

It is understood Arc have received general support from Kent County Council, and further talks have taken place with Shepway District Council who would also like to see the racecourse re-open and enhance its facilities.

Arc have also held several meetings with Herefordshire Council regarding the future of Hereford, which stages its final meeting on Sunday. These discussions are linked to a new long-term lease which would replace the existing lease, which only has 17 years left to run.

Tony Kelly, Arc's managing director said: "We were disappointed by the inspector's report on our plans for Folkestone racecourse.

"However, having taken advice, we have continued to press for the redevelopment of the venue. We are hopeful that this approach will yield better results."

He added: "In respect of Hereford racecourse we have held constructive discussions with the council, but there remains a long way to go.

"Despite reports to the contrary, we have not been approached by any interested third parties who are willing to invest in the track, although we remain open and willing to discuss that should it be the case."

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