Report reveals horseracing’s £208m value to local economy, supporting 8,500 jobs

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Thursday, January 23, 2014
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Horseracing benefits the economy around Newmarket by more than £208m annually and is responsible for more than 8,500 jobs within a 25-mile radius.

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Frankel and Tom Queally Win Qipco 2000 Guineas 
at Newmarket on April 30, 2012


Pic: Louise Pollard/Racingfotos.comFrankel and Tom Queally Win Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on April 30, 2012 Pic: Louise Pollard/Racingfotos.com

Horseracing benefits the economy around Newmarket by more than £208m annually and is responsible for more than 8,500 jobs within a 25-mile radius.

That’s the conclusion of a new study released today by economic research provider, SQW.

At just under £100m per year, the report identifies racehorse trainers as the leading generators of economic activity within Newmarket and its surrounds, followed by stud farms (£81.2m).

Racing institutions generate nearly £10m annually, while visitors to Newmarket, primarily attracted by a day’s racing at the Rowley Mile or July Course, are calculated to contribute almost £9m, before taking into account any of their expenditure off-course.

The independent study is the first-ever assessment commissioned by Forest Heath District Council, in conjunction with Newmarket Horsemen’s Group, to understand the scale and economic significance of Newmarket’s horseracing industry and its surrounds.

Newmarket is home to two world-class racecourses, which welcome more than 330,000 race-goers a year and stage more turf races than anywhere in the UK.

The study found that direct jobs in the racing industry, plus temporary ‘events-related’ employment at Newmarket Racecourses and Tattersalls sales, produce expenditure on wages totalling nearly £80m (£79.7m) – some 38% of the total £208m economic impact calculated.

Looking ahead, the study identifies what it describes as ‘promising signs of potential for further growth in the horseracing industry’ around Newmarket.

A recent stud purchase by an overseas investor, seen as a growing force in the sport, is cited as expected to lead to substantial additional investment.

Furthermore, The National Heritage Centre for Horseracing and Sporting Art is predicted to increase visitors and with them increased local expenditure, including discretionary shopping in Newmarket town centre.

James Waters, Forest Heath District Council leader, said: “We have never before had an independent, fact-based report on exactly what impact the horseracing industry has on Newmarket and the surrounding area.

“Forest Heath thought it would be good to work with the racing industry to establish those facts to help us make decisions which will benefit all those with an interest in the future prosperity of Newmarket.

“The report looks at the impact of racing not just in the town, but up to 25 miles away so will be a really useful document as we plan future growth in West Suffolk.”

William Gittus, chairman of Newmarket Horsemen’s Group, which represents racing’s interests in the town, said: “This fascinating study recognises Newmarket as an excellent location in which to develop and grow a business related to horseracing and breeding. It recognises HQ’s positive international image and world-class facilities and expertise. Simply put, Newmarket remains the home of Thoroughbred racing with real potential for the future.”

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