Leaders of British racing have welcomed the government announcement that £21million of loan funding will be made available through the sports winter survival package.
The money will be lent to the Levy Board due to its role in providing central funding of industry costs of race-day regulation, equine welfare and industry training, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has announced.
The funding is to ensure essential race day integrity costs and related health and safety expenditure are safeguarded, enabling the Levy Board to continue their programme of financial support and funding into the industry, which has suffered as a result of Covid-19.
British Horseracing Authority chief executive Julie Harrington said: “We are extremely grateful to officials at Sport England, DCMS and the Treasury for their support in agreeing this funding to racing.
“We are grateful also to the Levy Board for agreeing to our proposal and borrowing this money to support the central funding of racing.
“This money will help ensure racing continues behind closed doors despite the absence of spectator revenues. This will benefit our racecourses, our participants and their communities, and the vital role racing plays as an employer and contributor to the rural economy.”
David Armstrong, chief executive of the Racecourse Association, added: “The RCA and its Members are very grateful to the Levy Board, DCMS and Sport England for putting in place this vital funding for the sport.
“Racecourses have suffered lost turnover of over £325m since the pandemic began and this funding will provide a crucial bridge for both racecourses and horsemen as we begin the long road to recovery.”