GBP 10 million racetrack could expand, investors told

Investors looking into buying Towcester Racecourse have been told the GBP 10m venue could be expanded to include a hotel and casino.

Lord Hesketh, who owns the South Northamptonshire venue, put it up for sale with estate agents Knight Frank yesterday.

Details issued by the agents claim the venue has the potential to become a „racino“, a combination of a racecourse and casino.

Estate agent Robert Fanshawe, who is handling the sale, said calls from interested investors had been received within hours of the sale being announced. He said: „We’re offering it at GBP 10 million and we expect to achieve that.

„It’s a very popular course in a lovely area and I’m sure it will go to a private individual who will want to push on the leisure side of it a little and maintain it as a place that people like to visit. I think it’s a really good opportunity. Towcester is a really special place.“

Knight Frank has said the expansion of Towcester, which will see about 3,000 new houses built close to the racecourse, makes the expansion of the venue viable.

They suggest improvements could include a casino, together with a hotel containing a themed restaurant, bar and health spa.

The development would be similar to one planned at Wolverhampton Racecourse.

Towcester currently includes a stable yard with 103 loose boxes, the GBP 1.5 million Grace Stand, which has a champagne bar, restaurant and six hospitality suites and the GBP 5.7 million Empress stand, which has six further corporate suites, private balconies and a restaurant.

Towcester’s chief executive, Chris Palmer, said: „The Hesketh family has always taken immense pride in Towcester and it’s no secret the facilities available to all members of the horseracing community at this racecourse are second-to-none.

„Race-day income, largely generated from media rights, betting and catering, is the lifeblood of the business but, thanks to the quality of our assets, this is more than matched by hospitality income, our other principal revenue stream.“

During the October 2007 to June 2008 season, Towcester held 16 fixtures involving 1,176 runners.

In July 2005, Lord Hesketh sold Easton Neston House to Russian fashion designer Leon Max for GBP 15m.