Expert backs town's bid for special status

AN EXPERT in sporting heritage thinks Newmarket could have a strong chance of being granted special recognition from the UN.

Jason Wood, of Heritage Consultancy Services, joined members from the town's most famous horseracing institutions to talk about why the town should get World Heritage status.

The title would mean further international recognition to ensure the town continues to be managed to the highest standard, joining a list of 850 specially selected sites worldwide.

Speaking in front of members from the Horseracing Museum, Tattersalls, the British Racing School and the British Sporting and Arts Trust, Mr Wood said: "Today, Newmarket is internationally recognised, not only as the historic home of racing but also as the current powerhouse of thoroughbred training, breeding and selling. As such, it is one of the most famous towns in the world of sport.

"It is the world-renowned home of horseracing with unrivalled equine history and heritage stretching back almost four centuries, with the earliest recorded race being in 1622."

Every 10 years, UNESCO, the educational and cultural branch of the UN, picks from a list of possible venues compiled by central Government -and Newmarket could be under consideration for the special status.

The last list was published in 1999 but is currently up for re-evaulation and if the town is lucky enough to be selected it could join venues such as the archeological site of Troy in Turkey and the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.