Racecourse managers face huge bill for improvement programme, which is expected to last more than four months

The managers of Ascot racecourse have ordered a £10m improvement programme to be carried out to rectify problems with the redevelopment of the venue.

Building revealed in November that engineer Arup and Stanhope director Peter Rogers had been parachuted in to analyse problems at the £185m Laing O’Rourke development, after visitors had complained of restricted views. Ascot confirmed this week that four and a half months of improvement works will be carried out, beginning immediately.

Planned improvements include:

  • Increased gradient of lawns to improve viewing
  • A temporary 2000-seater stand
  • Extra club, restaurant and bar facilities
  • A permanent raised bandstand adjacent to the Parade Ring
The improvements will focus on aspects of the course relating to the Silver Ring, Royal Enclosure, viewing and general admission, with Royal Enclosure badges being held at 2006 prices for next year.

Ascot said that the project would be funded from within the contingency reserve of the original redevelopment project. The scheme was designed by architect HOK Sport.

Douglas Erskine-Crum, chief executive of Ascot racecourse, said: “We have had a number of important issues to consider since the return of racing to Ascot after the 20 month redevelopment project. We look forward to delivering in 2007 the experience our customers expect and deserve from us.”

Peter Rogers said: “I am sure that a combination of this programme of works - which will address operational and viewing issues - together with customers becoming more familiar with the configuration of the new facility, will result in racegoers experiencing the very best that Ascot has to offer.”