For many years, we have been involved in wide-scale redevelopment of the internationally renowned Cheltenham Racecourse. This has included the 2012 redevelopment, the Princess Royal Stand, and The Centaur.
The four-day Cheltenham Festival in March attracts around a quarter of a million visitors, but this had become operationally challenging with facilities that didn’t meet the standards expected of a modern leisure venue. Several obstacles needed to be overcome to carry out this important redevelopment work, including the site’s location in a green belt, immoveable deadlines of major race meetings, and the client's aspiration to achieve value for money. It was also essential that racing could continue during construction.
The main aim of the project was to increase quality and comfort of experience, rather than increase capacity. Therefore, much of our design process was based on improving viewing experience for visitors as well as providing amenities that could be used for a range of functions.
Throughout our involvement at Cheltenham Racecourse, we have aimed to increase quality, comfort and the overall experience for racegoers to help maintain Cheltenham’s reputation as the leading National Hunt racing venue. Our design has improved the racegoers' experience with vastly improved customer circulation, viewing of the racecourse, bars, restaurants, hospitality lounges, hospitality boxes and betting facilities.
The new 6,000 capacity Princess Royal Stand has a spectacular wing roof fronting the racecourse to create an iconic building. Extensive balconies wrap around the whole building, creating unparalleled views of the racecourse. Externally, a crescent walkway creates a dynamic amphitheatre with dramatic viewing of the parade ring and winner’s rostrum.
Our involvement at the racecourse has also included the delivery of The Centaur, a new multi-purpose venue. Although it is predominantly a racing venue, it can host events such as concerts, conferences, and exhibitions. The Centaur also redefined the main entrance to the racecourse, creating a sense of arrival and anticipation appropriate for one of the country’s leading sporting venues.
We also designed the racing themed Horse & Groom Pub which is created in the temporary hospitality village for the Festival each year.
The racecourse has won numerous awards including winner of Best Large Commercial Building at the LABC Awards 2016 and winner of both Project of the Year and the Tourism and Leisure category at the RICS Awards South West 2016.