Slate manufactured by Welsh Slate has helped complete the £10 million redevelopment of York racecourse.
Based at Penrhyn Quarry in North Wales, the firm’s slate roofing and flooring was chosen by Phelan Architects as the natural material to complement the listed buildings during the first major redevelopment of the northern end of the ground for a century.
Costing almost half of the overall project, 14,000 of Welsh Slate’s Penrhyn Heather Blue County-grade roof slates were installed by Sothall Roofing, while York-based construction company, Lindum, installed Riven and gauged Cwt Y Bugail 12mm Welsh Slate flooring in the internal toilets and wet areas of the stables.
Drawing on the materials of the racecourse, with a palette of brickwork, timber and the Welsh Slate, Phelan separated the equine buildings into clusters to express their different functions, while organising them in a stable yard arrangement built around the perimeter of the new larger, flatter pre-parade ring, to provide a familiar and calming environment for the horses.
Working around the racing calendar, the 30-month project was completed by Lindum in two phases, with the main equine facilities opening first.
Phelan Architects director Brendan Phelan said: “The Welsh Slate plays a significant part in tying in with existing facilities. It enhances the buildings. Its long life and natural material was important.”
James Brennan, head of marketing and sponsorship at the racecourse, said: “By breathing new life into the northern end of the course, while retaining its historic character, Phelan’s scheme has ensured we can continue to compete as a world-class sports venue, ensuring the horse, the horseman and the racegoer are each given the best possible experience.”