Capital Projects

The Horserace Betting Levy Board (HBLB) is now inviting racecourse applications for loans, under existing terms and conditions, which can be made between 1 and 30 September.

This is the second loan window opened in 2020 by HBLB as part of the overall approach to supporting the sport during the lockdown and the resumption of racing.

A summary of the application and assessment process is set out below.

The HBLB Board has not set a fixed amount of available funding for the loan window in advance but will be mindful, when assessing the total value of all the applications, of the Reserves and Cashflow position for HBLB and that previous loan windows have totalled low single millions of pounds.

Outline lending process for 2020

The Levy Board is inviting applications for loans for capital projects as well as working capital assistance.

Working capital loan applications can be from £50,000 up to a maximum of £200,000 per racecourse or up to £1m per racecourse group.

There is no upper limit on the amount that can be applied for to support a capital project. The maximum loan granted for a capital project will be 75% of the total project cost.

Applications for all loans can be made between 1 and 30 September 2020. Loans of £50,000 to £200,000 will not be required to have supporting documentation to the same extent as for higher value projects. Loan applications greater than £200,000 will require external due diligence by the Levy Board’s professional advisers. It is also the case that the Levy Board may require security against a loan for a material amount. For all loans above £200k the Levy Board will charge an arrangement fee of 1.5% of the total loan value.

On all loans the rate of interest charged on outstanding amounts will be 4% per annum. The repayment term for any loan will be four years. Annual interest is charged at the end of each year.

The maximum loan granted per project will be considered on an individual basis using the evidence included in the application and any due diligence carried out. The overall amount for loans available will be subject to affordability and may have to be limited if a large number of applications are received by the Levy Board.

Applications will be considered by the Levy Board’s Investment Committee during October and November 2020. Final decisions will be made by the Board and applicants notified. It is the intention that loans approved may be drawn down from December 2020.


Capital Credit Scheme

The Capital Credit Scheme enables racecourses to accrue all or part of their grant payments from the Levy Board which can then be drawn down by racecourses for future use to support capital projects, including meeting their loan repayments.

The principles as to which projects are eligible for Capital Credit use are the same as for racecourse loans. The agreed criteria of the Board’s priorities in assessing applications are:

a) capital improvements needed as a result of British Horseracing Authority/legal requirements;
b) non-revenue-generating loans for horse specific projects e.g. turf, drainage, stabling;
c) revenue generating projects;
d) non-horse specific projects.

All authorised users of HBLB's Racecourse System can download a Capital Credit Scheme guidance note and Capital Credit project application template on the 'Other Information' tab of the Racecourse System's dashboard. 


New Capital Credit Projects 2018

Approved Date Racecourse Description Value
January 2018 Taunton Towards the creation of a second exit from its car parks near the public highway £26,964
January 2018 Hamilton Park Towards works to the racing surface of the track £12,960
March 2018 Pontefract Towards installation of a WiFi system and hard wiring for the new pool betting system £88,102
May 2018 Fakenham Towards building a new facility for guests and winning owners £80,000
May 2018 Taunton Towards building an overflow reservoir £19,418
June 2018 Hamilton Park Towards the infrastructure and equipment required to operate the new pools betting system £65,106
September 2018 Kelso Towards building a new parade ring and winners' enclosure £196,047
October 2018 Chester Towards demolishing the Watergate Pub and creating a new entrance to Chester racecourse £1,071,781
October 2018 Thirsk Towards the building of a new trackside owners' and trainers' facility £160,000
December 2018 Catterick Towards improvements of the parade ring and an extension and refurbishment of the weighing room E160,000
December 2018 Catterick Towards the balance of upgrades made to the West End Entrance, saddling boxes and office block project (a project approved by the Board in 2016) £171,797
December 2018 Pontefract Towards the extension and refurbishment of the owners' and trainers' facility £142,797
    Total for 2018 £2,064,578

New Capital Credit Projects 2019 

Approved Date Racecourse Description Value
January 2019 Chester Towards the demotition of the Watergate Pub and creation of a new enrance area £342,861 (increase)
January 2019 Fakenham Towards the building of a new winning owners' enclosure and guests' pavilion £17,000 (increase)
January 2019 Hamilton Park Towards the replacement of the pre-parade ring surface £47,600
January 2019 Newbury Towards a new main parade ring with viewing steppings, horse walks and associated landscaping, ancillary betting pods and a new southern costumer entrance £3,000,000
January 2019 Salisbury Towards the replacment of the racecourse irrigation machine £34,290
March 2019 Leicester Towards a new horse walk, shower block, raceday bars, cellar and storage containers £35,115
May 2019 Ludlow Towards the purchase of a rigid framed structured marquee which would serve as a permanent facility to entertain owners, trainers and guests £75,000
May 2019 Salisbury Towards the racecourse extending its Wi-Fi to reach the stable staff accommodation and canteen £6,797
September 2019 Catterick Towards building a new owners' and trainers' facility £1,040,585
October 2019 Salsbury Towards the refurbishment of the Paddock bar and surrounding areas £559,612
November 2019 Chester Towards funding Parade, a new hospitality space £1,234,722
November 2019 Pontefract Towards funding the renovation and conservation of an old Tote building into a bar and food servery £119,334
November 2019 Salisbury Towards the purchase of a tractor for general course and estate work £36,290
    Total for 2019 £6,549,206


Last Updated: 06 August 2020