Ballinrobe and its surrounding hinterland got a major boost yesterday with the news that the local race committee has confirmed that it will go ahead with a significant new project over this winter. Fifteen years ago the future of the course was in doubt, but successive developments over the past decade have transformed the course and made it into one of the jewels in the crown of Irish horse racing.
Racecourse manager John Flannelly announced the latest projects at the course. “There are three parts to the new development — the construction of a new 160-seater restaurant, a new entrance hall, and a new pavilion behind our existing stand,” he said. “These will greatly enhance our race day facilities at Ballinrobe and further copperfasten our position as a racecourse geared up for the future.” The new restaurant will allow for reserved seating for up to 50 people, while the new pavilion will provide an ideal meeting place for patrons during races. These coincide with the ongoing development of a new extension to the existing racetrack, which will allow the course to host more — and better quality — races in the future
“These new developments are all about giving our customers greater comfort on the days of races. Our supporters have stood by us through thick and thin, and they take great pride in watching the on-going developments at the course,” added Mr Flannelly. “The entrance hall will form a sparkling new ‘front door’ for our facilities — a strong message that you have now arrived at a top-quality racing venue, and that’s the image we are trying to create.”
The project will also give a significant lift to business life in the greater Ballinrobe region. “The races are an integral part of community life in the west of Ireland, and we would hope that this news will help to stimulate economic activity during these challenging times,” said Mr Flannelly. “As far as we are concerned, it’s onwards and upwards for Ballinrobe and we know our supporters will be delighted with this news.” The total cost of the development will be in the region of €1.3 million and will be funded primarily through Ballinrobe Race Committee’s own resources and also by drawing down grant aid previously approved by Horse Racing Ireland in 2007.