Victoria’s Premier and Racing Minister Dr Denis Napthine has committed $1.8 million to redevelop the grandstand at the Cranbourne Racecourse. Dr Napthine announced the funding, which totals half the $3.6 million cost, at a launch at Cranbourne attended by Racing Victoria chairman Rob Roulston.
“This project will provide the City of Casey community with a great new facility to host large events,” Dr Napthine said. “The existing grandstand has been in operation since the mid-1980s. This upgrade will transform the centre into a 21st century premier racing and functions venue and create a valuable asset for the local community. “The City of Casey is a major growth area and this development will provide local schools, businesses and sporting organisations with access to a large function centre, to be used for events such as graduations, balls and awards nights. “It will also greatly improve the amenity of the centre for racegoers, particularly the many thousands who now flock to exciting night racing events here in Cranbourne.
The new-look grandstand will include a 400-seat function centre, tiered seating for 150; expanded corporate hospitality; modern new bars, dining room and tote outlets. Roulston expressed his “absolute delight” at the Premier’s announcement of the Victorian Racing Industry Fund’s support for such a major regional racing project.
“The redeveloped grandstand will be an outstanding asset for Cranbourne racing and just as importantly, will provide local community and business groups with the largest function and conference centre in the area,” Roulston said. “Cranbourne is the busiest racing precinct in Australia, hosting more than 100 race meetings every year and being home to the nation’s biggest thoroughbred training centre. “Upgrading the customer facilities will make it one of our best racing venues, attract new racegoers and greatly enhance the unique night and day racing experience. “It should of course be acknowledged that the recent introduction of night thoroughbred racing was a $6.7 million project that also received substantial Government funding.”
The State Government played a significant part in the infrastructure funding for night racing at Cranbourne, which has proved most successful.
Roulston commended the three Cranbourne racing clubs – the Cranbourne Turf Club and greyhound and harness clubs who also race at the venue – for their work in planning and advancing the project. He said the strong backing of the industry’s peak bodies – Racing Victoria, Country Racing Victoria – as well as the Racecourse Committee of Management and the City of Casey had also been vital supporters of the project.
Cranbourne Turf Club CEO Neil Bainbridge described it as “a great day for racing in Cranbourne across all three codes.” Bainbridge noted the venue conducted more than 100 race meetings annually and is arguably the busiest racing centre in Australia along with the Cranbourne Training Centre. “Importantly the new facility will deliver enormous community benefits for the wider Cranbourne and Casey community enabling major events and activities to be held locally at the facility,” Bainbridge said.