Chester Race Company has confirmed it has taken on the operating agreement for Musselburgh – bringing an end to uncertainty which has long surrounded the Scottish track’s future.
It was announced last October, following years of disputes between all parties involved in the East Lothian Council-owned course, that third party Chester Race Company (CRC) would take over its running and was to be invited to agree a 10-year contract to do so.
Subsequent negotiations were delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, but CRC announced in a statement on Thursday that the deal is complete.
Musselburgh therefore joins Chester and Bangor-on-Dee as the third racecourse in the CRC portfolio – and the Scottish course is due to resume its fixture list next Tuesday, behind closed doors in keeping with measures to mitigate the spread of coronavirus.
CRC chief executive Richard Thomas said: “We are delighted to be formally appointed as the new operators of Musselburgh Racecourse on behalf of East Lothian Council.
“We are committed to the long-term running and success of the racecourse and ensuring its reputation within the local community and Scottish racing is upheld.
“The entire team is excited to begin this new chapter and deliver proposals to maximise the available opportunities for the racecourse.”
Musselburgh general manager Bill Farnsworth added: “The appointment of Chester Race Company to run Musselburgh marks a new chapter in the history of our 200-year-old racecourse.
“Chester’s management team has an excellent track record, and we are delighted to be working with one of the best racecourse teams in the country.
“They share the same values as Musselburgh in their ambition to provide a five-star racing and hospitality experience, to host quality horse racing, offer excellent customer service and to invest where possible to improve the racing and customer infrastructure.”