Ex-Labour minster Sutcliffe takes chair at centre of excellence
Former sports minister Gerry Sutcliffe has been elected chairman of the Northern Racing College.
He succeeds Trevor Beaumont, who has stepped down after completing a four-year term.
Sutcliffe, 63, is renewing the ties with racing he forged as Minister for Sport in the Labour government from 2007 until 2010.
He said: "I've always been interested in horseracing, long before I became an MP in fact. But as sports minister I came to understand the intricacies of British racing better than most, particularly in the areas of staff recruitment, education and training, which are key elements to the future wellbeing of the sport.
"When the opportunity to become chairman of the Northern Racing College presented itself, I was very happy to take on the position, with a view to helping the college make further progress, as well as strengthening the vital part that the north of England plays in this important industry."
Centre of excellence
The Northern Racing College, which opened in 1984 and is based at Rossington Hall near Doncaster, is the northern centre of excellence for the racing industry and provides training, apprenticeship qualifications and support for people wanting to work within the industry.
The majority of its funding comes from government agencies and the racing industry but it is a registered charity and relies on additional income streams to support its work.
Sutcliffe said: "I look forward to helping the trustees, the chief executive and the extremely dedicated team at Rossington Hall to enhance and develop the significant and essential work that the NRC does in training stable staff and providing qualification opportunities for other people in racing.”
Sutcliffe, who served as MP for Bradford South from 1994 until he stood down at the 2015 election, paid tribute to his predecessor.
"I would like to congratulate Trevor Beaumont for the excellent job he has done as chairman of the NRC trustees at a time when all education and training providers are facing many challenges," he said. "I look forward to carrying on his good work.”