Journal, May 20, 2004

A council is currently involved in discussions to buy Newmarket’s existing Waitrose store and use it as part of an ambitious project to establish the town’s horse racing heritage as a world tourist attraction.

Deliberations over the proposed purchase were held in secret on Wednesday but after the meeting former council chairman Cllr Don Levick confirmed that the authority was keen to buy the site. “We need it if we are going to develop the Home of Horseracing project and cash in on Newmarket’s worldwide reputation as the Headquarters of racing,” he said.

Sources revealed that up to £2.3 million could be spent buying the Waitrose store on Rutland Hill to make a gateway to the neighbouring Palace House Stables which the council is set to develop as a living museum.

The authority has already reached an agreement with Waitrose to acquire the 214-place car park at the back of the store for public parking.