Racecourse plans glamping site to rein in pandemic losses
Liam Randall, local democracy reporter
The owners of a racecourse based in Wrexham have revealed plans to create a glamping site to improve the viability of their business.
The financial fortunes of Bangor-on-Dee Racecourse are said to have been hit hard during the coronavirus pandemic, with restrictions largely preventing spectators from attending horse race meetings in Wales.
Crowds have been able to return at both Chepstow and Ffos Las racecourses this month following the relaxation of rules on outdoor sporting events.
However, the first public meet at Bangor-on-Dee is not scheduled to take place until the end of July.
Chester Race Company, which owns the racing track, has now filed a planning application to introduce four glamping pods and two shepherd huts for both racegoers and tourists.
Consultants acting on the firm’s behalf said it would help to address the loss of income caused by the pandemic.
In a planning statement, they said: “The coronavirus pandemic, as with other businesses and sports, has had a significantly negative effect upon Bangor On Dee Races.
“Before Covid-19, there were opportunities to attend horse races throughout the year.
“However, once lockdown came into full effect, race meetings were suspended putting huge pressure on the business.
“The absence of attendances at race meetings has not only affected on course bookmakers but also the related businesses on site.
“The proposal would form a valuable addition to the racecourse and ensure the long term commercial viability of all the associated businesses on site.
“We are confident that this development will have a positive impact on the local economy, as a vast majority of holiday makers will visit local attractions, places of interest, public houses and outdoor activity centres.”
The glamping site would be located on land which falls within the grounds of a workers’ dwelling, known as Stable Cottages.
Representatives for the company said the proposals would have a “negligible” impact on traffic and the overall appearance of the area.
They added: “The proposals to enhance the site with a modest number of high quality glamping units designed to attract those with an interest in horse racing as well as holiday makers.
“Glamping developments attract a range of different consumers, in particular those looking for an experience with a difference, which is what this proposal will also offer once complete.
“The applicant also intends to offer discounted meals at the restaurant and venue as part of the package on offer to guests.”
Wrexham Council is expected to make a decision on the application at a later date.