Cheltenham Racecourse's £45m development approved

An artists vision of the development An artist's impression of the development with the new grandstand on the left hand side

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A £45m redevelopment of Cheltenham Racecourse to include a new 6,500-capacity grandstand and royal box has been unanimously approved by planners.

Work will begin at Prestbury Park after the 2014 National Hunt Festival in March.

The site's owner, the Jockey Club, aims to complete the project ahead of the 2016 festival.

The new grandstand replaces the current "A&R" block, which was built in the 1920s.

The current royal box, which was built in 1952, and 55 other boxes, which were built in the 1920s and 1930s, will be demolished.

New members' facilities, improved bar facilities, more toilets, and better viewing of the course and the parade ring have been promised.

The plans have been approved by Cheltenham Borough Council.

Earlier this year the Jockey Club launched a bond scheme to help fund the scheme. It brought in almost £25m.

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