The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Monday, 23 September 2013

Ayr Racecourse builds for the future

Scotland’s premier racecourse is preparing for a period of expansion after securing a major new loan facility from Clydesdale Bank. 

[Pictured: Mark Wilson, head of Clydesdale Bank’s Business & Private Banking Centre in Ayr; David Brown, managing director of Ayr Racecourse; and Stuart Rogerson, relationship manager at Clydesdale Bank.]

Established in 1824, The Western Meeting Club Group’s Ayr Racecourse hosts a number of high profile races each year including the Ayr Gold Cup and the Scottish Grand National Festivals attracting more than 40,000 visitors a year. 

The rising profile of the sport and increased media sponsorship has led to a surge in popularity for racing across the UK. On top of its core offering the complex caters for large corporate and conference events, as well as weddings at the Western House Hotel and surrounding estate. 

Ayr Racecourse, a new customer to Clydesdale Bank, has successfully secured £6.5m funding from the Bank. The loan has allowed the company to refinance its previous facilities for a five year period.

Ayr Racecourse managing director David Brown said: “There has been a huge surge in interest in racing in recent years which has been matched by large sponsorship and increased media exposure, particularly TV and online platforms.

“We have been pursuing an ambitious programme of development and refurbishment at Ayr which has allowed us to further enhance our existing services while also allowing us to adapt to the fast moving modern market.

“At Clydesdale Bank we have been dealing with people who understand our business and the sector we work in, which has been a key factor in our decision to switch our banking.” 

More than £20m has been invested in the site since 2006 on priority areas including the Princess Royal Exhibition, Banqueting and Conference Centre. In the next five years The Western Meeting Club will be looking to increase visits to the Ayr Racecourse complex and maximise exposure to the sport.

Mark Wilson, head of Clydesdale Bank’s Business and Private Banking centre in Ayr said: “Ayr Racecourse has been part of the fabric of the local community for almost two centuries and continues to evolve and meet the needs of the current market.

“Clydesdale Bank is pleased to support the company and we are looking forward to continuing to develop our relationship in the coming years.”

The deal was instigated by Stewart Rogerson (Business Development Manager) from Clydesdale Bank’s Business and Private Banking Centre in Ayr with transactional support provided by Stuart McCallum who is a Business Development Director in the West of Scotland Region.  Operational banking will be provided from Ayr with the relationship managed from a West of Scotland Region perspective by Lorraine Delaney.

Clydesdale Bank is part of the National Australia Bank Group. Clydesdale Bank was established in 1838 in Glasgow and, as one of Scotland’s largest banks, has a proud history of innovation and support for industry and communities across the UK.

Ayr Racecourse is Scotland’s premier racecourse and also its the only Grade 1 track. The course has been on its current site since 1907 and is home to the Scottish Grand National and Ayr Gold Cup. 

Ayr Racecourse
David Brown, Managing Director          
Tel: 01292 264179

Iain Ferguson, Head of PR
Tel: 07795 565691

Ayr Racecourse and the associated Western House Hotel are Founder Members of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.

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