It appears the Curragh Racecourse could be headed for the redevelopment process again, almost five years after they put their previous plans on hold.
Earlier today, Monday, May 27, the Curragh Racecourse ltd published notice of a “Concept Design contest” for the “proposed redevelopment of the racecourse”.
Six participants will be shortlisted for the top award and will be given €10,000 each to submit a ‘Vision Design’.
In what is probably a sign of the times, the text of the notice, which is currently on mytender.ie calls on the designers to consider “how a sense of atmosphere and excitement can be created on race days of smaller attendances, while making provision for the accommodation of much larger crowds on Irish Derby day”.
They want the redeveloped racecourse to be welcoming, attractive, user friendly and address the needs of modern race goers.
In November 2008, the Curragh suffered a major blow when the Turf Club announced that it had decided, due to the then economic conditions, to postpone its redevelopment project.
At the time they said that the project would be kept under review “with a view to reinstating it once economic conditions become more favourable”.
At the time the project was budgeted to cost approximately €100 million to be financed by grant aid from Horse Racing Ireland, industry donations, bank borrowings and the Turf Club’s own resources.
There is no information yet as to how much of a budget will be available for the redesign, and where it might come from.
- Conor McHugh