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Tuesday, 18 December, 2018

Musselburgh given go-ahead to stage meetings until end of March

Musselburgh: Thursday's card has been cancelled
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Musselburgh will be able to continue operating under a temporary licence until March 31, 2018 after the BHA agreed to extend it while an ongoing review into the track's governance is being conducted.

The local authority-owned track was in danger of being unable to stage fixtures earlier this year amid concerns it was not being run properly. 

A temporary licence was granted on the proviso an independent governance review was accepted, with legal firm Pinsent Masons subsequently employed to fulfil that task.

The licence, initially due to expire on December 31, has now been extended until the end of March.

Musselburgh chief executive Bill Farnsworth said: "We're pleased that the BHA has extended our licence so that the governance review can be completed and recommended changes are implemented. We're now looking forward to putting on another successful New Year’s Day meeting."

Catherine Beloff, the BHA's director of legal and governance, said: "The renewal means the temporary licence will cover the nine-month timeline for the completion of an independent governance review and substantial implementation of its recommendations, which were conditions of the last temporary licence given in July.

"On expiry of the temporary licence, the [BHA] board will consider the progress made in relation to implementation in determining whether it is appropriate in the best interests of Musselburgh racecourse and the wider sport to extend the licence for a further period."

The details and results of the report conducted by Pinsent Masons will not be made available to the public. 

Local newspaper the East Lothian Courier contacted East Lothian council, who have four councillors involved in the Musselburgh Joint Racing Committee which runs the racecourse, about the report and were told: "This is a private report which contains commercially sensitive information and there are no plans to release this at present." 

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The renewal means the temporary licence will cover the nine-month timeline for the completion of an independent governance review

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