Kier wins Jockey Club's biggest project

Kier has been appointed as main contractor on the Jockey Club’s largest ever single capital investment project – a £45m new grandstand at Cheltenham Racecourse.

Although preparation work on the grandstand started last summer, the main work on the 22-month project will start immediately after next week’s Cheltenham Festival.

Kier, which won the project following a competitive tender, has already developed several major projects at Cheltenham including the £17m Centaur building.

The company’s Cheltenham office will lead the development of the grandstand, which will go up alongside the existing main grandstand.

It will include new annual members’ facilities, general public viewing areas and private boxes. The project will also see the creation of elevated walkways to ease mobility for customers and provide a multi-tiered ‘amphitheatre’ experience around the parade ring.

Funding for the project includes £25m that has come from The Jockey Club Racecourse Bond – the first retail bond in British sport. The remaining £20m has come from the Jockey Club’s syndicate banks – HSBC, AIB and RBS – as well as a Levy Board capital fund loan, commercial deals and the group’s available cashflow.

Ian Cheung, managing director of Kier Construction’s central operations, said: “It is a challenging project, but we will work hard to ensure that throughout the works the impact on the racing calendar is kept to a minimum.”

Ian Heeley, Kier’s contracts manager for the project, added: “It is a real privilege for me to have the opportunity to lead the team on this high profile construction project, especially as it is in my home town. The Kier project team all live locally and we understand the importance of the racecourse and the festival to our local economy and community.”

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