Racecourse gets Tourism Stamp of Approval

UTTOXETER Racecourse has become one of the first in England to receive official recognition from the national tourist board.

VisitEngland assessed the Staffordshire venue following the launch during the summer of the first ever quality scheme for sport.

Areas under assessment included pre-arrival information, the racecourse's website, journey planning, signage, welcome on arrival, the actual sporting event, toilets, catering and retail outlets.

After passing the assessment, the racecourse will be awarded a VisitEngland plaque illustrated by the organisation's red rose logo.

James Berresford, Chief Executive of VisitEngland, said: "England has a world famous sporting heritage and for many parts of the country horse racing is at the core of the community. I can't think of a more thrilling day out than a day at the races.

"The VisitEngland quality rose marque provides a recognised stamp of approval showing visitors that Uttoxeter Racecourse has been assessed along similar lines to a more traditional type of visitor attraction providing regular racegoers and first time visitors alike with a high quality, highly memorable experience."

David MacDonald, General Manager of Uttoxeter Racecourse, said: "I am delighted with the results of our assessment which demonstrated that our staff provide an excellent experience for our visitors.

"It is also hugely useful to have a truly independent assessment, because it has shown me one or two areas where we can improve in order to offer an even better day out at the races.

"The VisitEngland Quality Assured plaque will act as a stamp of approval showing visitors that a day's racing is a quality experience and great value for money."

The tourist board said the racecourse is "very attractive and well managed" and their staff show a "very good friendly approach". The racecourse's website - www.uttoxeter-racecourse.co.uk - is "excellent" and "well structured".

First impressions on arrival are "very good", with the uniformed staff portraying the racecourse as a "quality destination". The general appearance of the racecourse is "of a high standard with lots of care and attention to detail."

Of the racing days, VisitEngland said there is a "great racing atmosphere and [it was a] thoroughly enjoyable experience".

The range of dining areas and bars is "impressive", although it was pointed out that some aspects of The Railway could be improved. However, the food in The Railway was highly rated by the inspector - "lunch was very tasty with high quality beef [which was both] very tender and flavoursome".

The specific areas for racehorse owners and trainers are described as either "very good or excellent".

The racecourse's top restaurant - Silks - is a "very good dining experience with an enticing menu and skilled staff providing an excellent level of service".

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