- $70,000 York Cup yesterday for the first time since September 2010
- Made possible by Royalties for Regions
Australia’s oldest thoroughbred track roared back to life on Monday with the first running of the York Cup in almost five years.
Racing has returned to the historic Wheatbelt town, one hour east of Perth, made possible with $1.03 million from the State Government’s Racing Infrastructure Grants Program (RIGP), funded by the Royalties for Regions program.
Racing and Gaming Minister Colin Holt said it had been a long way back for the York club after facilities at the 172-year-old racecourse were devastated by a storm in January 2011.
“York racecourse is a vitally important venue, both economically and socially for the local community and wider Wheatbelt,” Mr Holt said.
“One in every 16 people in the region has an involvement in racing as either an employee, volunteer or participant – making it the most active racing region in the State on a per capita basis.”
Mr Holt officially opened York Racing’s new facilities, including a new administration building, jockeys’ and stewards’ rooms, a new bar and tote area for patrons.
Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said the racing industry was an important contributor to the Wheatbelt economy, responsible for maintaining full-time equivalent employment for more than 400 people.
“Racecourses and race days also promote tourism in the region, creating a flow-on effect for a sustainable local economy,” Mr Redman said.
“I am pleased to see Royalties for Regions funds invested in regional racing clubs, generating significant social and economic benefits for the local community.”
In 2010-11, 58,200 racegoers spent more than $2.5 million as a result of attending the races in the Wheatbelt (excluding wagering). For every $1 spent at the racecourse, another $2.06 is spent in the local community on items such as retail, transport, tourism, food and beverages.
- The RIGP was established in 2010 to assist the development of racecourse infrastructure at racing venues across WA
- To date, 200 racecourse infrastructure grants totalling $13.3 million (Royalties for Regions boost component $3.24 million) have been approved by the State Government
- Racing and Wagering WA contributed $383,000 towards bringing thoroughbred racing back to York
- For more information on Royalties for Regions projects, visit http://biggerpicture.regions.wa.gov.au