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Newmarket July Course

Newmarket July Course

Refurbishment of the iconic July Course's weighing room complex, including a new terrace and Champagne bar

Project value £2.6 million
Client The Jockey Club
Architect Roberts Limbrick
Engineer Furness Partnership
Project manager & building services consultant DSA Consultants Ltd
Cost consultant PMP Consultants Ltd
CDM & H&S advisor Ark H&S
Programme 10 months
Form of procurement Design & Build
Form of contract JCT Design & Build
Completion date June 2023

The Jockey Club – the largest commercial horse racing organisation in the UK – required upgrades at Newmarket’s July Course as part of an ongoing industry-wide project to modernise facilities for spectators and all jockeys.

The Wigley Group was appointed following a competitive tendering process and began works in September 2022, with timescales tight to ensure it finished ahead of the new racing season at the iconic venue in July.

The two-phase project was centred on creating first-class facilities for jockeys in The Weighing Room, and enhancing the spectator offering in The Head-on Stand with a stunning new Champagne Bar and viewing terrace.

In The Weighing Room, the building was stripped to its bare bones to enable a complete reconfiguration of the weighing and changing room areas in line with new minimum standards, delivering greater consistency for all jockeys.

Trial investigations enabled the construction team to spot design changes early, which included increasing ceiling heights and re-routing of the drainage for the new shower rooms and toilets.

Although this – coupled with the uncovering and safe removal of asbestos – led to unforeseen delays, time was recovered to ensure this phase finished on schedule, resulting in the creation of an impressive facility which included private showers, toilets, male/female/flexi changing rooms, physio rooms, a safeguarding area, and a new weighing room.

Phase two included revamping the existing Head-On Stand to help improve the overall visitor experience, incorporating a new two-storey Champagne Bar to replace the existing one-storey facility which was beginning to age. This is capable of accommodating 327 people, split between 132 on the ground floor and 195 on the terrace.

Works included installing a new roof, erecting the new streel-framed Champagne bar, and upgrading the exterior with cedar cladding so it blended into the new look of the complex.

The final project – which also delivered sustainability improvements through the installation of solar panels and low energy lighting – completed in June, ahead of the new racing season in July.