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Media centre home > News > Racing in Yorkshire worth more than £200m

Issued:12/07/11

Horse racing contributes nearly £230m annually to the Yorkshire economy, according to a new report by the respected Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research at Sheffield Hallam University.

Commissioned by the nine racecourses last year, CRESR looked in depth at the activities of the racecourses, trainers, breeders, owners, trainers, jockeys and on-course bookmakers. They also took into account off-course spend by racegoers and those attending racecourses for events such as conferences and exhibitions.

The study largely mirrored that adopted by Deloitte, which has undertaken a number of projects exploring the economic impact of racing across the UK. Paul Lawless and Ian Wilson, the study’s  authors, concluded that the full annual economic impact of horseracing in Yorkshire was around £228m in 2009.

Professor Lawless said: “In addition, the core racing industry provides some 2,300 full-time equivalent jobs in the county and, using Yorkshire Forward’s Regional Economic Model, it can be estimated that racing supports another 830 full-time equivalent jobs in the county.”

Of this total of £228m, around £30 million was attributed to off-course spend by race goers, including hotel stays, food and drink. This was largely linked to meetings at York and Doncaster.

Welcoming this report at the Great Yorkshire Show, where the Yorkshire racecourses are a partner on the ‘Welcome to Yorkshire’ stand, the tourist agency’s chief executive, Gary Verity, said: “Horse racing is part of the lifeblood of Yorkshire.

"This report illustrates not only how important the racing industry is to our county but the future potential of racing in Yorkshire; we are the home of horseracing in the UK and that is why we are working closely with ‘Go Racing in Yorkshire’ and all the racecourses to ensure that when people think about going racing for a day or a weekend, they think about coming to Yorkshire.”

Nine courses are linked to ‘Go Racing in Yorkshire’ – Catterick and Doncaster both race on the Flat and over Jumps; Beverley, Pontefract, Redcar, Ripon, Thirsk and York stage Flat racing only, while Wetherby hosts Jumps racing only. Some £155m of the £228m overall total can be attributed to one of the nine courses in the region. Collectively the nine courses stage some 175 racedays per year, which is around 12 per cent of the national fixture list. Attendances in 2009 stood at getting on for one fifth of the national figure, emphasising the popularity of racing in the county.

In 2009, over 100 licensed trainers looked after 3,288 horses in training in Yorkshire – some 22 per cent of the UK-wide figure. CRESR estimates that more than 5,000 individuals in Yorkshire are involved in ownership of a racehorse in training in the county. Taking into account the average cost of a horse in training (£15,000 per annum), plus jockeys’ riding fees, but minus their proportion of prize money accrued, CRESR suggests that owners’ net expenditure in Yorkshire is around £50 million. Thoroughbred breeding in Yorkshire, meanwhile, accounts for about £11 million per annum.

The Centre for Regional and Economic Social Research (CRESR) at Sheffield Hallam University is one of the UK’s leading academic research centres specialising in social and economic regeneration, housing and labour market analysis. For more information, go to www.shu.ac.uk/cresr

For press information: contact Laurie Harvey in the Sheffield Hallam press office at pressoffice@shu.ac.uk