It may seem incredible but the first UK horseracing track was actually established almost 400 years ago, in 1614 at Doncaster, and over the intervening period the racecourse has gone from strength to strength.

Today, it is home to the world’s oldest classic horse race, the St Leger Stakes, first run in 1776 and, in order to retain its pre-eminent position, it recently completed a £34 million redevelopment of the course, thereby creating a world-class venue, not just for racing but also for non-racing events, such as corporate hospitality, conferences and exhibitions.

Kieran Gallagher, Events General Manager at Doncaster, explains, “The £34 million investment programme was massive for us. This is a huge site and is one that cannot exist solely on its 33 race meetings each year. At the heart of the development is the remarkable Lazarus Grandstand, with an impressive range of private hospitality suites and luxury dining areas, plus the magnificent bronze statue of past St. Leger winner ‘Double Trigger’.

Julie Steele, Sales Manager, Non-Race Days, adds, “One of the most exciting developments at Doncaster Racecourse has been the progressive development in the quality and standards of the in-house catering offer, now readily recognised within the racing and conferencing clientele as being one of the best in Yorkshire.

From premium hospitality packages to tailor-made banqueting menus the chefs and operational team at Doncaster offer a first-class dining and service experience. Working closely with Deliciously Yorkshire the team of chefs has created dishes and menus that showcase the best of the county’s produce.

All our suppliers are Deliciously Yorkshire accredited. Doncaster was also the first Yorkshire racecourse to re-create a Michelin star restaurant experience at the course during the 2011 St. Leger Festival together with Michelin Star Master Chef Tessa Bramley.” Richard Shaw Executive Head Chef for the Racecourse added, “We work hard to embrace local provenance and work with a number of bespoke suppliers to enhance our culinary standard to showcase the very best of what Yorkshire food suppliers have to offer, we are proud of the food and drink that comes from the region”.

The site now offers a multi-functional events room of 3500m2 – which can cater for 1,500 covers, together with 48 function suites available for parties of 20-500, and a number of external marquees on the Capital FM Champagne Lawn, capable of catering for up to 350 guests for weddings and celebrations. Another increasingly successful use is an exciting range of live concerts featuring chart topping artists and bands, offering both the race-day and corporate client the ultimate experience and fantastic value. This year 80’s super group Madness led by iconic front man Suggs are performing a live outdoor concert after racing on Saturday, 30th June.

Last year proved to be hugely successful for Doncaster as a multi-award winning venue. The team ended the year with a series of wins, including receiving the accolade of being named Overall National Showcase Champions at the Racecourse Association (RCA) Showcase Awards. The racecourse also took the RCA award for ‘Best Free Race Day’ and received industry-wide acclaim for its exemplary delivery of social marketing, whilst also collecting the Doncaster Chamber of Commerce award for ‘Business of the Year’ and Doncaster’s Best Bar None award for the ‘Best Leisure Venue’.

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