New racecourse calls in administrator

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The first new racecourse built in the UK in 80 years has buckled under the weight of the economic downturn and called in an administrator. Deloitte said yesterday it had been named administrator to Great Leigh's Racecourse, near Chelmsford, Essex.

"We have today been appointed administrators and will be assessing the position of the group in order to determine the best outcome for its creditors,” Carlton Siddle, Joint Administrator and Deloitte partner, said. “We will continue to work with existing management and key business partners to continue to trade the business in the short term.”

Deloitte added it is in discussions with horseracing's regulatory body, the British Horseracing Authority to try securing the course's racing licence and allow it to continue to trade as a going concern while it seeks a buyer.

The UK's newest racecourse, which only opened last year, provides all-weather racing and also hosts night events. The swank venue's business model however relied on customers using its entertainment and hospitality which include late-night restaurants and bars designed to keep punters' cash coming in after the end of racing events. But the credit crunch has led to a downturn in such leisure activities.