CHESTER Race Company has appointed two architectural practices to work on the next phase of development at Chester Racecourse.

Kay Elliott and Lovelock Mitchell Architects have jointly been commissioned to prepare a strategic development plan and a first phase of two projects at key racecourse sites.

At the first site, overlooking the Parade Ring, a new hospitality building is being planned as a replacement for the temporary marquees (known as the ‘tented village’) that are currently erected each summer for the racing season.

The second site is at Saddlery Way where plans are being prepared for a base for Chester Race Company’s catering and events division, Horseradish, and for the racecourse grounds maintenance division.

The joint appointment recognises each practices’ strengths: Kay Elliott for their extensive track record in hospitality and leisure projects; Lovelock Mitchell for their wide local knowledge and racecourse experience.

These two proposals are the first phase of Chester Race Company’s Strategic Development Plan which outlines the long-term investment strategy. This will illustrate a proposed development programme through to 2039 when Chester, the world’s oldest operating racecourse, will celebrate its 500th anniversary.

The Strategic Development Plan comes five years after a Racecourse Masterplan, granted planning consent in 2019, the aims and objectives of which have been re-assessed in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic, the challenging economic circumstances that have followed and the latest trends in the leisure and hospitality industry.

Chester Race Company will be sharing its draft plans with neighbours and the wider community over the summer.

Louise Stewart, Chief Executive Officer of Chester Race Company, said:

“Over its long history the racecourse has adapted to meet the needs of the public, whilst also respecting the heritage of the site, so it’s exciting to embark on the next stage of its evolution to make sure it continues to be successful long into the future.

“Our plan will replace some of the ageing buildings on site, which also gives us the opportunity to reduce the impact of our operations on the environment and improve the presentation of the site.”