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Scottish Racecourses to receive £2million in Government’s Emergency Sports Funding Package

Scottish Racecourses to receive £2million in Government’s Emergency Sports Funding Package

Scottish Racing, the organisation which supports and represents the five racecourses in Scotland, has welcomed the Scottish Government’s decision to provide up to £2million in grant funding for horseracing. The sum was announced today as part of a £55m emergency sports funding package to tackle lost ticket revenue during the pandemic.

This funding is intended to help sporting venues like racecourses that have suffered financially from the absence of spectators, who have been unable to attend live sporting events since March 2020. This has led to a significant amount of cost-cutting activity at our five courses, which has in turn reduced the flow of funds to racing’s participants and led to wider impacts in the rural Scottish communities in which our industry is based.

The First Minister announced that £55million worth of grants and low-interest loans would be made available across a wide range of sporting bodies, with £2million being made available for Scottish racecourses.  This funding will enable the racecourses to recover more quickly from the devastating effects of the pandemic and thereby aid the economic recovery of suppliers and participants, bringing the horseracing industry in Scotland out of the pandemic.

Supported by the British Horseracing Authority as the governing body of the sport, Scottish Racing has regularly briefed the Scottish Government with regard to the financial challenges facing racecourses and the racing industry in Scotland as a result of the pandemic.

Scottish Racing has calculated that, by Spring 2021, Scottish racecourses will have collectively lost, £12.23million, 55% of their income, as a result of a moratorium on ticket sales. This has led to a consequential reduction in returns to the sport’s participants.

Delly Innes, Manager of Scottish Racing said: “As Scottish racecourses continue to race behind closed doors, this financial support from the Government is not only very welcome, but absolutely vital for everyone in our sport.  We’re delighted that the Scottish Government has recognised the importance of the nation’s second most popular sport and the potentially devastating financial implications the pandemic has had on the industry north of the border.  As a group, we are all very grateful to the Government Ministers and officials we have worked with for their support for horseracing in Scotland and we will continue to work closely with them to return crowds to racecourses as soon as possible”.

Minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing, Joe FitzPatrick, said: “I am pleased to announce this substantial funding package, which will help to ensure those sports which have been worst affected by the loss of ticket revenue during the pandemic are able to bridge the gap in revenue until spectators are able to return safely to sports events in larger numbers. While restrictions on supporters at events have been vital in stopping the spread of the virus and saving lives, there can be no doubt that they have created real hardships for many sports clubs. These clubs are at the heart of our communities and, without urgent financial support, the survival of some could be in question.”

Notes to Editors:

The full breakdown of the £55 million emergency sports fund announced today can be found on:

Scottish racing usually generates economic activity of £306 million annually in Scotland and supports 3,400 FTE job roles across the country.

Scottish Racing promotes and supports the sport of horseracing throughout Scotland and its five racecourses: Ayr, Hamilton Park, Kelso, Musselburgh, Perth.

The UK government will be providing up to £40m in financial assistance to racing in England as part of the £300 Winter Sports Survival package which was announced last month.

For further information, please contact Delly Innes on, or telephone 01835 840315 / 07970 229507.