Greyhounds will be racing at Towcester Racecourse by the end of the year, marking a further £1.5 million investment in the horse racing venue.
The 420m sand track is expected to be complete by October and represents the next of phase of redevelopment at Towcester which totals £12 million to date.
Bosses at the racecourse have laid out their intentions for the ‘state of the art’ track to become an ‘epicentre for greyhound excellence’, establishing itself as the ‘premier greyhound track’ in the UK.
Racecourse chief executive Kevin Ackerman said: “This is an extremely exciting time for the business as we embark on a venture which will see us significantly enhance our revenue generation and provide a number of jobs and opportunities for local people.”
Work on the track, which will run inside the existing horse racing course, will begin next month. Once up and running it is expected to host three meetings a week displayed on a 50 sqm big screen and beamed as far afield as Australia and Latin America.
Towcester is the first horse racing track in the UK to host both horse and greyhound racing and the greyhound track is the first new track to be built in 19 years. Following on from two new grandstands, the new greyhound track is poised to enhance the ‘income generation’ of Towcester as a whole.
Mr Ackerman continued: “The track will also provide a unique entertainment experience to the people of Northamptonshire and the surrounding counties, as well as enabling the business to build on its highly successful horse racing product.
“Our overriding aim is to become the Ascot of the greyhound world.”
The decision to invest in a new greyhound track comes on the back of several track closures in recent years, including Oxford, Reading and Milton Keynes.
Racecourse director Bob Bowden said one reason for these closures was a lack of investment, citing a recent report by Deloittes for the Greyhound Board of Great Britain.
He added: “The need for the younger generation to be encouraged to move into training and the improvement of stadia facilities for owners, trainers and customers are all being addressed by the Towcester investment.
“Greyhound racing is still one of the highest attended spectator sports in the UK and is successful in other parts of Europe, Australia, South America and the Far East, all increasing business for the Towcester initiative.”