by JULIE-ANN SPENCE
Plans for Down Royal near the finishing post
THE Down Royal Racecourse is about to get a £3.5 million
facelift after planning permission was granted for the
development this week.
Manager Mike Todd said he was "absolutely
delighted" that planning permission has been granted and added
that he hoped to have the new facilities up and running by next
"This is going to have the biggest single
impact on the business," he said. "This will enable us to
upgrade our facilities to make them the best facilities on the
island of Ireland."
Mr Todd went on to explain the plans for the
"We will be completely refurbishing the
grandstand, at a cost of £¾
million, to enhance the spectators experience, and constructing
a decking area, which will overlook the parade ground.
"We are also building a new entrance and
turnstile, as well as a new hospitality suite and private
boxes," he continued. "The whole project will be finished to a
very high standard and I would like the project completed for
the Specsavers Derby in June 2009."
The course has been undergoing a major
development and modernisation since the early 1990's. Phase 1 in
1993 saw the completion of a new grandstand which incorporated
14 Corporate Boxes, VIP Hospitality Suite, Public Bar and an
elevated viewing area overlooking the track and finish post.
In 1998 the Governor's Stand was completed and the most
recent facility is the Weigh Room and Administration Complex
which was completed in 2000