The new entrance to Chester Racecourse is looking cool as excitement builds ahead of next week’s 2018 Boodles May Festival (May 9-11).
Punters with tickets for the prestigious County Stand will enter via a new canopied entrance taking shape where The Watergate Inn stood until its recent demolition.
And the fresh approach to the venue will also include a resurfaced and pedestrianised Watergate Square.
Existing entrance gates and railings on the boundary of Watergate Square have been removed and the old box office and IT office complex demolished.
Empty offices created by the race company’s relocation to the nearby HQ building are being transformed into new customer amenities.
There will be a ground floor fully accessible new box office with a staircase – now in place – leading up to a first floor bar with a new roof that reflects the character of the original building, which will be open all year-round with views of the City Walls.
The staircase links into the existing decked area at the rear of the County Stand providing a welcoming entrance into the Long Room.
Chester Race Company recently unveiled its £100m masterplan which includes a 1,000 seater conference centre – or ‘events building’ – to host conferences, banquets, weddings, trade fairs and even concerts.
The Pavilion Grandstand will be a replacement for the Leverhulme stand with the most modern hospitality facilities in racing, including boxes and restaurants overlooking the course.
Most car parking linked to Holiday Inn Express will be relocated to a three-level multi-storey on the other side of the railway line but accessible through the arches.
Freeing up the hotel car park plot will create room for the events building and a 30-40-bed extension at the Holiday Inn.
A planning application is expected to be lodged soon.