Cartmel Racecourse Collaboration Provides Significant Contribution To South Cumbrian Economy

Cartmel Racecourse is contributing significantly to the local economy through its collaboration with south Cumbrian firms, it has revealed.

The racecourse’s research underlines its importance not just to the Carmel area, but the wider Cumbrian economy and also revealed that during the 2022 season 80,000 racegoers visited.

The course actively promotes the local area to its visitors by encouraging them, once they have their wristband for the day, to come and go into the village so they can sample the local businesses and all they have to offer.

Research carried out by the racecourse in 2022 also revealed that 49 percent of people who came to Cartmel races did so as part of a holiday or short break in the area.

Rick Eastwood is operations director at Bowness Bay Brewing which is one of many food and drink businesses in the county to benefit from the ‘Cartmel effect’.

Bowness Bay Brewing, which is based in Kendal, runs the public bars on the racecourse, selling their award winning Swan Blond Pale Ale and Lakes Lager as well as Unsworth Brewery beers.

They also attend other bespoke events at the racecourse during the year and recruit staff locally.

“There is no doubt that Cartmel Racecourse is beneficial for the area, not just in the village but in the wider area too, in places like Grange-over-Sands and Newby Bridge.

“In my job I talk to local businesses every day and it’s widely acknowledged that the venue puts heads on beds and bottoms on seats,” Rick Eastwood said.

“For each event we need a minimum of 12 staff and our brewery employees are definitely kept busy because of our involvement with the racecourse.

“The close links have also had a ‘halo effect’ on the business as our customers recognise the prestige associated with working alongside such a popular and respected venue.”

The Cumbria Grand Hotel in Grange-over-Sands has had a long, collaborative relationship with Cartmel Racecourse and general manager, Mark Ridley estimates that it annually adds a six figure sum to the hotel. 

“We accommodate visitors as well as owners, trainers, jockeys, TV crews and stable staff. The annual concert which this year features ‘Bjorn Again’ also really supports local businesses, from eateries through to pubs and of course accommodation providers.

“For us personally, it fills the hotel on a Friday when we otherwise wouldn’t be at full capacity.”

Bjorn Again to perform at Cartmel Racecourse on Friday June 30

Geraldine McKay, director of racing at Cartmel, said: “We are one of the smallest racecourses in the country, with one of the highest attendances for race meetings.

“Horse racing is at the heart of the village and through our excellent affiliations with local businesses, the village and surrounding areas have a vibrant visitor economy.

“We are all excited for the 2023 season which begins on Saturday May 27 and look forward to welcoming faces old and new.”

Sue Clarke, marketing manager at Cumbria Tourism, added: “Large attractions like Cartmel Racecourse undoubtedly provide a good boost for the local economy in Cumbria.

“You have visitors coming from all over the country for a day at the races, with suppliers, pubs, restaurants and accommodation providers all feeling the benefits of a race weekend, as we find many punters often tie in their visit with an extended stay in the county.”

This year’s Cartmel season starts on Saturday May 27 and Bjorn Again perform after the races on Friday June 30.