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RACECOURSE CONFIDENT AHEAD OF YEAR'S BIGGEST EVENT

Thu, Jul 21, 2011

Brighton Racecourse has reported a 20 per cent increase in visitors in the first half of the year compared to the same period in 2010. 20,000 people passed through the gates between April and July, with events including a Beer and Balti racenight and a Take That tribute band helping to pull in the crowds.

Up to 15,000 people are expected to attend the August Festival from 3rd - 5th of the month, the biggest event of the year at the racecourse.

Headline sponsors have been announced for each of the three days of the festival, the first time that all three days have been sponsored. John Smith's will sponsor the first day for the 11th consecutive year, which includes Brighton's most valuable race of the year, the John Smith's Mile. Frosts Cars has signed up to sponsor Thursday's Ladies Day for the first time, while Albion In The Community has put its name to the Friday to mark the beginning of a three year deal.

The racecourse is an important business in Brighton, providing more than 100 full-time and temporary jobs and contributing an estimated £750,000 to the local economy through the business it provides to local suppliers, further jobs supported at local studs and training yards and money spent by visitors coming in from outside the area.

General Manager Callum Mackay said: "Our visitor numbers have increased despite challenging times, which tells me that the wide range of events and entertainment that we've added to the calendar here, alongside quality racing, has really captured people's imagination.

"We've been a lot smarter with our commercial approach this year and this has clearly paid dividends, with new sponsors coming on board and corporate hospitality sales also performing ahead of last year."

The racecourse has built a strong partnership with Brighton & Hove Albion this year, and has become a Park and Ride site, providing 700 spaces on matchdays. Friday 5th August will be Albion In The Community Day, where the feature race will be the Harry Bloom Memorial Trophy - named after the grand-father of Chairman of the Albion, Tony Bloom.

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Charlotte Beeching, PR Manager, Northern Racing