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Report finds that Newmarket horse racing and breeding industries generate over £250m for local economy

A report has found that horse racing and breeding in Newmarket employs around 7,033 people and generates over £256m for the local economy.

The survey, carried out by consultancy SQW, was commissioned by West Suffolk Council and stakeholders in the local racing industries.

It found that the town continues to dominate the national sport, with 19 of the 36 "elite" British Group 1 races won by horses trained in Newmarket.

The report found that Newmarket continues to dominate racing nationally and globally. Picture: Mark Westley
The report found that Newmarket continues to dominate racing nationally and globally. Picture: Mark Westley

Racing's contributions to the Newmarket area – including stud farms and institutions, revenue from visitors, and other sources – were estimated to be in the range of £256.2m.

The report notes that this impact was felt outside the industry itself, with local retailers and hotels benefitting from the increased footfall on race days and other occasions.

The Jockey Club acted as an intermediary between SQW and the report's commissioners.

Amy Starkey, speaking for the club, said: "Our world-leading racing and breeding industries are a huge asset for West Suffolk, delivering a significant direct contribution both economically and in terms of employment as well as a host of wider benefits.

"Both industries have shown remarkable resilience in the face of the pandemic and the subsequent economic hardship that it has created, to grow their contribution since the last report in 2017. It is testament to their passion and dedication.

"However, like many sectors, we continue to face challenging economic headwinds.

"Maintaining the constructive dialogue we have with policy makers, which led to the commissioning of this report, is crucial to continuing our work together to ensure Newmarket’s HRI and the wider town and region have a bright future."

Going forward, the report suggests that the race industry should be at the heart of town planning, with arrangements made for transport links to benefit the racecourse and other key sites.

West Suffolk Council's cabinet member for growth, Cllr Susan Glossop, said: "As we know, Newmarket is a globally recognised centre for the horseracing industry and one we are very proud to have and support here in West Suffolk.

"The report sets out some very clear statistics but more than that it describes relationships that create a complex eco-system, reveals dependencies and points to opportunities."

The report can be found online.