Musselburgh Racecourse has been granted a further extension to its racing licence until 31 December.

The decision by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) comes as the council seeks to appoint a third party to run the facility on its behalf.

Councillor Fiona O’Donnell, Chair of the Musselburgh Racecourse Associated Committee (MRAC), said:

“This further extension of Musselburgh Racecourse’s licence until the end of 2018 reflects the very positive work which has taken place to secure the track’s future.

“It provides increased certainty for racegoers, staff, owners and trainers as we look ahead to fixtures in the coming months.

“I’d like to thank everyone involved for their hard work and commitment in getting us to this stage. The procurement process for appointing a third party operator is being progressed and I look forward to reporting further progress in due course.”

The working group has consisted of Elected Members (cross party representation from Councillors Stuart Currie, Fiona O’Donnell and Brian Small), members of the Lothians Racing Syndicate (Robert Miller-Bakewell, Ken McGarrity and Ray Anderson Green), racecourse General Manager Bill Farnsworth and council officers. It has been supported by Pinsent Masons LLP, who previously carried out an independent governance review.

The BHA Board has extended the licence until the end of December 18. This is conditional on a licence application being lodged with the BHA which is underway and also keeping them updated on the progress of the procurement process. Musselburgh Racecourse will apply for a racecourse licence for 2019 later this year, in accordance with standard BHA requirements. Members of MRAC are aware the BHA may issue further temporary licences throughout 2019 while the process of appointing a third party to operate the racecourse is underway.

Published: Wednesday, 12th September 2018