Sussex

Fontwell Park racecourse opens £6.5m grandstand

Fontwell Park grandstand in West Sussex
Image caption The grandstand took just over a year to construct and can host 250 racegoers in its main suite

A new £6.5m grandstand has been opened at Fontwell Park racecourse in West Sussex.

The structure, which has taken just over a year to build, offers panoramic views of the course and improved catering and betting facilities.

Its main suite can host 250 racegoers and it also has 12 hospitality boxes.

General manager Phil Bell said the construction of the grandstand was part of a plan to move the course into the racing "premier league".

'Attract more people'

He added: "There are 60 racecourses in the UK and without counting them up, roughly 20 would be the large tracks and 40 would be the slightly smaller tracks.

"We would bracket ourselves as the best of the smaller tracks at the moment."

Mr Bell said: "We're in a position now hopefully to move into the premier league but that will take more time.

"We've invested the money upfront in the stand we now need to attract people here.

"The more money we can make and the more profit we can make the more we can invest in prize money and create some bigger races."

Punters have been watching horse racing at Fontwell Park since 1924 when Alfred Day first opened the gates to the public.

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