The famous Galway Races are just around the corner, and already another ambitious plan is in place to extend facilities for punters at Ballybrit.
A €12 million plan is set to redevelop the Parade Ring with the addition of new hospitality venues and a new racecourse administrative building.
It will be at least three years before the redevelopment work starts, but the Galway Race Committee has announced it is seeking tenders for a design team to progress this next phase of development at the track.
This year the committee at Galway Racecourse will unveil its latest development, the €6 million Wilson Lynch Building which has been completed and officially opens on Monday July 30 for the start of the 149th running of the Galway Races Summer Festival
Galway Race Committee chairman Peter Allen says each year the summer festival puts Galway on the front pages and provides an “extraordinary €54 million” boost to the local economy.
“We are delighted to be in a position to progress the next phase of development at Galway Racecourse as we are always striving to improve the facilities on course and to enhance the experience for both the customer and the participants, which is paramount to maintaining Galway’s position as one of the highlights of the summer racing calendar. The committee at Galway is very excited for what the future holds.”
As part of the new €12 million redevelopment plan, the parade ring will be revamped and modernised to make the area a key focal point within the racecourse, “focusing on improving the interaction and experience between the customer and the participants of the sport, plus increased spectator capacity”.
“The aim is to make more of the parade spectacle and pre and post-race celebrations. The plans also see the addition of a pre-parade ring, directly adjacent to the main parade ring.
“New hospitality venues with a high standard of decor would be located to the north and south of the parade ring, incorporating a bar, restaurant, betting and toilet facilities, all providing a new level of comfort and customer experience for Galway patrons.”
The first floor of the existing Millennium Grandstand will also be refurbished with a new fully glazed wall facing the track, along the full length of the Millennium Stand. Included will be facilities for a new Owners & Trainers Lounge and a separate annual members’ facility.
The project also includes a new racecourse administrative building - the current office building to be repurposed afor both male and female jockeys, with enhanced hospitality facilities.
Galway Racecourse has produced concept drawings of this new development in conjunction with Turnberry Consulting. The design of the new development is expected to commence in early 2019, with plans to start construction within the next three to four years.