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The Tack Room at Newmarket's National Heritage Centre for Horseracing and Sporting Art closes

The Tack Room is now in the hands of liquidators Begbies Traynor
The Tack Room is now in the hands of liquidators Begbies Traynor

Liquidators have been called in to wind up one of Newmarket’s most popular restaurants just two years after it opened.

Vince and Anne-Marie Woolley, who ran The Tack Room at the National Heritage Centre for Horseracing and Sporting Art since it was opened by the Queen in 2016, spoke of their ‘great sadness’ at the closure and thanked all their customers for their support.

“We would like to express our sincere thanks to all our wonderful customers who have supported us over the last two years, many of whom we would consider our friends,” they said.

“It goes without saying that we are incredibly proud of what has been achieved at The Tack Room and we are truly grateful to all the amazing staff who have shown a huge amount of commitment and loyalty to the business.”

The pair, who also run The Pantry in The Guineas shopping centre – which continues to trade normally – said the closure was because of a ‘number of factors outside their control’ including the ‘current economic climate for catering and hospitality’.

On Monday, administrators Begbies Traynor took control of the business, which operated on a concessionary basis at the heritage centre.

Chris Garibaldi, museum director, said the closure ‘came out of the blue’.

The Tack Room at Palace House has closed (7253513)
The Tack Room at Palace House has closed (7253513)

“It’s very sad particularly as they had a good customer base and a very loyal customer base,” he said.

“We have been taken a bit by surprise but we are looking at alternatives to re-open the café as soon as possible.”

He said the museum was was considering bringing catering in-house if another business did not want to rent the site – but had not made a decision on its future yet.

Liquidators had initially suggested one of the reasons for the closure was ‘significantly lower than expected footfall’ at the museum, but Mr Garibaldi refuted this.

“In our first year we trebled the visitor base of the old museum so to say it has not been strong is, I think, unfair,” he said.

Rachel Hood, museum chairman and town mayor, said: “We are disappointed that The Tack Room will no longer be our restaurant but we are looking forward to the future and there is lots of interest in the site.”

And a spokesman from Forest Heath District Council, which owns the museum site, said: "The council has every confidence in the management of Palace House to resolve the situation speedily and remains extremely proud of its involvement with the National Heritage Centre for Horseracing and Sporting Art."


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