Following the acquisition of Arena Leisure plc by Aldersgate Investments Limited earlier this year, Arena Leisure will be merged with Northern Racing to form a new Company, Arena Racing Company (ARC).
ARC is now the largest racecourse operator in the UK, operating approximately 38 per cent of the UK fixture list. Its new headquarters are at Millbank Tower in central London.
The senior team was unveiled today, with Lord Howard of Lympe as Non-Executive Chairman, Tony Kelly as Managing Director and Simon Lane as Operations Director. Jim Allen and Jon Pullin will fulfil the Executive Roles within ARCs Racing department. Ashley Saunders will take on the role as Group Financial Controller for the enlarged Group.
Kate Hills will continue in her role as PR and Communications Director for the enlarged Group.
Finally there are three Non-Executive Directors appointed to the main Board, James Reuben, Stephane Nahum and Patrick O’Driscoll.
ARC owns and currently operates 16 racecourses at Bath, Brighton, Chepstow, Doncaster, Folkestone, Fontwell Park, Great Yarmouth, Hereford, Lingfield, Newcastle, Royal Windsor, Sedgefield, Southwell, Uttoxeter, Wolverhampton and Worcester, and operates a 17th course at Ffos Las in West Wales.
In 2012 ARC is scheduled to host 552 fixtures of which 213 will be run on 3 of the UK’s all weather tracks. Through its ownership of Doncaster Racecourse ARC is also responsible for hosting the world’s oldest classic, the Ladbrokes St Leger which this year is scheduled to be the subject of a bid by Camelot to win the Triple Crown. If successful this will be the first time that will have been achieved since Nijinsky won it in 1970.
ARC also owns and operates two hotels, the 4 star Marriot Hotel and Country Club at Lingfield Park and the Holiday Inn at Wolverhampton Racecourse, plus three golf courses at Newcastle, Lingfield Park and Southwell Racecourses.
In addition ARC is the major shareholder in the award winning Racing Channel ATR in a joint venture with Sky and Ascot Racecourse.
Kelly, Managing Director of ARC, said: “the last few months have been exceptionally busy integrating the two Groups, including setting up our new office in London. We have also been responsible for the delivery of the catering facilities at two Olympic venues, Eton Dorney and Greenwich Park. We have been delighted to receive widespread praise for the on-site catering with Alan Lee in the Times ranking Greenwich as the best Olympic catering venue and Eton Dorney being ranked third.
More latterly we announced the regrettable closure of Hereford and Folkestone Racecourse, albeit we hope the latter is a temporary measure.
We are now looking forward to the future and working to create a dynamic Racing and leisure Group servicing the needs of all our customers.
September will be a particularly busy month with the Ladbrokes St Leger taking centre stage at Doncaster Racecourse. Prize money this year is a record for the race itself at £550,000 and with the new deal with Ladbrokes only in its first year we are committed to increasing prize money for this race over the course of the next 3 years.
September will also see us commence the replacement of the all-weather track at Lingfield Park at a cost of nearly £2.0m. This is due to be completed in time for the raceday on 17th October.
We are also in final discussions with the Horseman’s Group to increase our contribution to prize money at all our race meetings in order to meet their tariffs from 1st October 2012.
As we finalise the 2013 fixture list and refine our race program for 2013 we expect to be able to make more announcements about our plans in due course.”
The Shareholders, Simon and David Reuben have offered their full support for these initial plans and look forward to future announcements on the business in the coming months.
In addition they have recently acquired a lease on their first horse in training through their charitable arm The Reuben Foundation. Great Ormond is currently in training with David Simcock and any proceeds from Great Ormond will be split between Racing Welfare and Great Ormond Street Hospital.
In addition the Reuben Foundation has provided donations to many Charities who have held events at the Groups racecourses which amongst others have included Cash for Kids, Great Ormond Street Hospital, The Noah’s Ark Appeal, CHUF Newcastle and The Welsh Guards.
Press Enquiries - Kate Hills - 07813 947201