The development will create a state-of-the-art new grandstand alongside the existing main grandstand, replacing the circa 1920s ‘A&R’ block. It will include new annual members’ facilities, general public viewing areas, private boxes and the Royal Box. The project will include improvements for owners and trainers, and focus on enhancing the overall customer experience at the racecourse, including elevated walkways to ease mobility and multi-tiered viewing of the parade ring.
The main development is scheduled to begin immediately after the 2014 Cheltenham Festival (11th-14th March 2014) with a planned completion date ahead of The Festival in 2016. During the construction period, Cheltenham will be able to continue staging its race programme as normal.
At a projected £45 million, the development will be The Jockey Club’s largest single investment in facilities and builds on more than £80 million invested in facilities at Cheltenham in the last 30 years. The Jockey Club, which is the largest commercial group in British horseracing, raised nearly £25 million towards the funding of the Cheltenham Racecourse development through the first retail bond in British sport. The remainder of the capital will be funded through cashflow, commercial agreements and bank financing.
The heating of the grandstands will be by underfloor heating driven by Ground Source Heat Pumps. The heat pumps will extract heat from the ground in front of the grandstands from geothermal borehole arrays installed by Synergy.
Synergy were asked to drill the first TRT borehole at the beginning of 2013.
The client specified Synergy as the preferred driller when issuing the tender documentation. Subsequently in Autumn 2013, Synergy issued detailed quotations to around a score of companies , from larger potential main contractors to smaller renewable energy installers.
The main contract for the grandstand developement was awarded to Kier with the local company C.F. Roberts being responsible for the heating, including the Ground Source Heat Pump installation.
Synergy will begin drilling the borehole array at the beginning of May 2014.