Champagne all the way for major upgrade at July Racecourse

The vision for July racecourse at Newmarket

The vision for July racecourse at Newmarket - Credit: Jockey Club

A multi million expansion of the July Racecourse at Newmarket that will include better facilities for jockeys and a new and expanded champagne bar for visitors has been agreed.  

The Jockey Club has won approval from East Cambridgeshire District Council. 

The club says the proposals “form the next phase of the masterplan of the racecourse redevelopment”. 

The initial phase began in 2006 with the major redevelopment of the areas for racegoers behind the main stands.  

“This proposal reflects the racecourse’s continued commitment to improving and enhancing the facilities at the July Course for racegoers, jockeys, racecourse staff and office staff," says the Jockey Club. 

Talks on the scheme began in 2019 before a planning application was submitted earlier this year. 

The plans include demolishing the “outdated and dilapidated existing champagne bar” and its replacement with a new two-level building.  

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The ground floor will house a new champagne bar with a champagne terrace on the first floor. 

Race-goers can expect a bird's eye view of the winning post from the new terrace.  

Works include linking the terrace to the existing stand where a new upper terrace will be located. 

Internally, the existing ground floor of the weighing room and stand will be reconfigured to improve the existing jockeys' facilities. 

Major improvements for jockeys and race staff will be refurbished broadcast and stewards' area, new warm up and physio room and a new rest room/lounge 

The application also describes new valets' room and a dedicated doping control room. 

Private changing rooms for 26 male jockeys and 12 changing rooms for female jockeys are also included.  

The vision for July racecourse at Newmarket

The vision for July racecourse at Newmarket - Credit: Jockey Club

East Cambs Council says the proposals comply with policies that support equine development “and the horse racing industry in appropriate areas.  

“The principle of development is therefore considered to be acceptable.” 

The vision for July racecourse at Newmarket

Refreshed and updated - the vision for July racecourse at Newmarket - Credit: Jockey Club

The vision for July racecourse at Newmarket

PV panels at the July racecourse - part of the vision put forward by the Jockey Club - Credit: Jockey Club

The council says the plans fit in with their climate change policies, and PV panels to the roof of the viewing stand reflect, in part, that compliance. 

Cambridgeshire Access Group looked at the plans and asked for a number of issues to be considered. 

Current view of the area of the July racecourse at Newmarket that will get a major uplift

Current view of the area of the July racecourse at Newmarket that will get a major uplift - Credit: Jockey Club

“There needs to be some kind of sticker or marker on floor to ceiling glass doors that there seem to be on the entrance to the building,” it says. 

“Without this, blind and partially sighted people can miss that there’s glass there and can walk into doors and windows like this.”