Pictured at the Cheshire Racing Hub launch and pledge of funding:
Project co-ordinators Emma Owen and Sarah Hamlyn with Reaseheath’s Head of Higher Education Rachel Ellis-Jones, Higher Education Programme Leader  Dr Jan Birch, Professor Chris Proudman of the University of Liverpool’s Leahurst veterinary  campus and Kay Kent of the University of Chester.

Hub turns spotlight on horseracing careers

Reaseheath College has joined other leading education establishments in a new project to support and promote careers in Cheshire’s thriving horseracing industry.

The Cheshire Racing Hub will connect centres of education and training with horse racing related businesses throughout the region.

The new initiative is being funded by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) and Department for Culture, Media and Sport. It is being led by Cheshire West and Chester Council as part of its rural regeneration strategy and is supported by Chester Race Company, Deva Racing and Manor House Stables.  Project partners include the University of Chester, the University of Liverpool Veterinary School and Reaseheath College.

Under its three strands of ‘Study, Work, Enjoy’, Cheshire Racing Hub aims to:

  • Foster business growth by linking education, skills and training with rural businesses
  • Promote the many attractive career opportunities within racing and the wider equine sector available to people of all ages who live or work in Cheshire and surrounding counties
  • Raise the profile of racing as an inclusive exciting family orientated sport at heart of Cheshire

Speaking at the official launch, Steering Group Chair Kay Kent of the University of Chester said that the project had brought together a group of people and organisations with a real commitment to supporting and developing Cheshire and its surrounding areas as an acknowledged home for high quality equine and racing related businesses.

She emphasised that recent BHA figures put the overall economic impact of the industry at £3.4 billion a year and that it was Britain’s largest sporting employer, supporting nearly 100,000 full time jobs.

Around 5.5 million spectators had attended race meetings in 2012, second only to football in revenues and attendances.  Racing was also becoming an international sport as horses crossed the globe to race and breed, opening up the prospect of travel and international job opportunities.

Locally over 300,000 people attended racing fixtures at Chester and Bangor-on-Dee each year, boosting leisure and tourism income. There was a growing and significant network of racing and bloodstock yards within the area, supported by specialist equine services including veterinary practices, farriers, equine dentists, physiotherapists and transporters.