Racing is worth £40m - report

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THE horse racing industry is worth £40 million a year to Doncaster’s economy, a report has revealed.

The figure is based on the total figure brought into the borough through Doncaster racecourse, both on and off the course.

The largest figure is £17.9 million which goes directly into the racecourse through payments for things like admissions, catering, on-course betting commission, media, and sponsorship.

Nearly £11 million comes into the economy through spending by people who are visiting the racecourse, with the rest in money spent in non racing events such as conferences.

The report was drawn up by the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research at Sheffield Hallam University.

Katey Dent, sales manager at The Crown Hotel in Bawtry, said she was not surprised by the figure.

She said racing meetings at the course helped fill beds in the hotel, with those coming to stay including sponsors, jockeys, trainers and television crews as well as ordinary racegoers.

The hotel also receives visitors who come to attend the Doncaster Bloodstack Sales racehourse auctions.

She said: “It is a massive benefit to the town. If the racing is on the restaurants and bars are busy. It is fantastic for Doncaster.”

Peter Davies, mayor of Doncaster, said the borough had a proud horseracing heritage and was the home of the St Leger - the world’s oldest classic horse race.

He said: “As a racing enthusiast I am fully supportive of our fantastic racecourse and know what a valuable asset to the borough it is. Racing is worth millions of pounds to the local economy, not just to the racecourse itself but to shops, bars, restaurants, hotels and other visitor attractions.

“The town is gearing up for the 2011 St Leger Festival Week. The revitalised festival will feature 10 days of arts and culture, special market days, heritage walks and the Doncaster Live music festival.”

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