Chester Race Company has now lodged plans for a £100m masterplan including a conference centre for up to 1,000 people.
The vision aims to enhance the racing experience and improve the Roodee’s all-year round appeal – allowing Chester to compete with Liverpool and Manchester.
And the events and conference centre will host not only conferences but banquets, weddings, trade fairs and even concerts as well as functioning as a ‘high quality’ hospitality facility on race days.
The planning application lodged with Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWaC) also includes a new grandstand as a replacement for the Leverhulme stand, an extension to the Holiday Inn Express and multi-storey car park.
This masterplan represents an investment of about £100 million over the next 15-20 years.
Submission of the plan follows more than 12 months of consultations with council officers, amenity groups, neighbours and the general public.
The plans were displayed at the racecourse in February where members of the public had the opportunity to view the designs in detail and provide feedback.
A separate application is being submitted for the temporary marquees in the centre of the course, most of which are expected to be relocated into the masterplan area.
The marquees have a planning consent which expires in 2019 and Chester Race Company is seeking an extension until 2022, to allow time to implement the first phase of the masterplan which will remove the need for most of the marquees.
A spokesperson said: “Masterplan 2018 presents a vision for the future of Chester Race Company and responds to a number of current and future needs.”
■ Securing Chester’s position as a leading UK racecourse, with an international reputation, by always seeking to update and improve facilities for racegoers
■ Maintaining and securing long-term Chester Race Company’s status as a successful local company employing more than 100 permanent and about 2,000 temporary staff in Chester
■ Increasing out-of-racing activity to maximise potential as a regional venue for major events and conferences with the significant economic benefits for the city
The applications will go to CWaC’s strategic planning committee in the autumn.