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Monday, 17 December, 2018

Racing Foundation speeds up spending with £10m earmarked in three-year strategy

Human and equine welfare will be areas the Racing Foundation will concentrate upon
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The charity set up to distribute the funds British racing received from the sale of the Tote is looking to accelerate its spending, with £10 million being set aside to be spent as part of a three-year strategy.

The Racing Foundation will be concentrating its efforts on equine and human welfare, but the charity's chief executive Rob Hezel said that the industry's strategy could be coordinated better.

Since it was launched in 2012, the Racing Foundation has made more than £9m of investments into key areas of British racing through its grants.

Following a review and consultation with stakeholders, the foundation has published its strategy for 2018-2020, 'Defining our Story, Determining Our Success'.

Hezel said: "The work we're doing is becoming increasingly recognised I think, and increasingly important."

However, Hezel added that the work could be better integrated into the sport's overall strategy.

"A lot of the work we invest in could be better coordinated," he said. "I think it is important because at the end of the day it is the industry's money and it should be spent for the benefit of the industry.

Rob Hezel: "The work we're doing is becoming increasingly recognised I think, and increasingly important"

"If we're funding projects that are tangential to industry strategy, that's not of benefit. So we're quite keen that we're funding projects that are aligned with industry strategy but potentially that we can align everybody behind industry strategy as well."

Hezel said there were various charities within British racing all doing good work.

"But if those projects could be more aligned and we could use the money to make sure people were coordinating their efforts more, and we could work with the BHA and others to make sure there are industry strategies in place, then we're going to get a better return for our money and the industry will get a better return in terms of outcomes," Hezel added.

Recruitment and retention of staff would be one key area, Hezel revealed.

The Racing Foundation received £78m from the sale of the Tote but success with its investments means that even after setting aside £10m for the next three years, the charity has £83m on its balance sheet.

Hezel said: "Because the markets have behaved as they have, the income that's generated is in excess of what was expected. We can safeguard the legacy and still afford to spend a bit more and hopefully meet the aspirations of the stakeholders."

While the money will still have to be spent on charitable activities, the foundation is looking at relaxing restrictions that it grants funds only to other charities.

Hezel said: "It might be we have to look wider than the charities we have given to traditionally to be able to get the funds flowing into the industry."

More details on the strategy will be published on the charity's website.

Meanwhile, the foundation announced it had appointed Jockey Club group human resources director Linda Bowles as a new trustee.

The work that we are doing is becoming increasingly recognised I think, and increasingly important
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