Racing is worth more than £200 million a year to Newmarket’s economy, a new study has revealed.
The industry is also responsible for more than 8,500 jobs within a 25 mile radius of the town according to the independent study which is the first assessment commissioned by Forest Heath District Council, in conjunction with Newmarket Horsemen’s Group, to understand the scale and economic significance of town’s horseracing industry.
Bill Wicksteed, a founder of SQW, which carried out the study said: “The positive economic impact of horseracing in Newmarket and its surrounds is highly significant for the local economy. £208m of annual activity is our conservative calculation for the value to the economy around Flat racing’s headquarters.
“As well as employment in the racing and breeding establishments there are many opportunities for small firms which supply goods and services.”
The survey findings will no doubt provide encouragement for those campaigners determined to limit urban development which they believe would threaten Newmarket’s racing industry.
Cllr James Waters, leader of Forest Heath District Council, said: “We have never before had an independent, fact-based report on exactly what impact the horseracing industry has on Newmarket and the surrounding area.
“Forest Heath thought it would be good to work with the racing industry to establish those facts to help us make decisions which will benefit all those with an interest in the future prosperity of Newmarket.”
The study also identified what it described as “promising signs of potential for further growth in the horseracing industry” including the opening of The National Heritage Centre for Horseracing and Sporting Art which is predicted to increase visitors and with them increased local expenditure and the purchase of a local stud by Qatari racehorse owners and breeders.