£100m. ‘super racecourse’ plan for Simonstone back on track

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PLANS for the world’s first £100m. “super racecourse” to be built on land between Simonstone and Altham are back on track.

The controversial development was first mooted in 2005 and although the project has been delayed due to financial constraints, the man spearheading the proposals, racing supremo the Marquess of Zetland, has confirmed the scheme will soon move forward.

NEWS. Lord Zetland at Redcar Racecourse. 'Picture by Dawn McNamara. See Story '09/02/07

NEWS. Lord Zetland at Redcar Racecourse. 'Picture by Dawn McNamara. See Story '09/02/07

No plans have yet been submitted to Ribble Valley Borough Council’s planning department but, if given the go-ahead, the racecourse would be built on 371 acres of land between the Ribble Valley and Hyndburn and is expected to attract up to 30,000 racegoers per meeting.

It is understood advanced technology will be used to create a special grass track suitable for staging flat racing during the summer and jump racing during the winter. A five-star hotel, theme park, a casino, a limited retail development, stabling, an equestrian training centre and a centre of sporting excellence are also planned – providing an all-year-round leisure and educational development for racegoers and non-racegoers alike.

A floodlit track will also enable people to experience the thrills of evening racing.

Lord Zetland admitted that although times are tough, he does not intend to give up easily on the project and is confident plans will move forward. He added: “Although it does seem an inordinately long time since we first looked at this project, the fact is that it is still very much alive. You will not be surprised to hear funding has proved difficult, but we are very hopeful this will be remedied within a few months.”

He added: “All I can say at this stage is that we remain reasonably hopeful this project may take place at some point in the future.”