Getting to know Head of Operations Lucy Hayes

Getting to know Head of Operations Lucy Hayes

How long have you been at Newbury Racecourse?

I started here just a few weeks before the demolition of the old nursery in July 2016, two and a half years ago.

What is your favourite part of the newly redeveloped Newbury’?

It is difficult to choose – I love all the redevelopment for so many different reasons. The Owners Club offers a fantastic space for any event and is the standout facility on racedays. The feedback from owners has been positive which is always encouraging. In the summer opening the folding doors in the restaurant to our re-developed Heartspace brings it all together.

I am also looking forward to the new Stables Bar opening later this Summer and the surrounding landscaping. It feels like it will be a little oasis on busy days where racegoers can sit and enjoy the atmosphere. The steppings around the newly landscaped parade ring offers an enhanced experience for spectators, and I love that they can get even closer to the action.

What has been the most challenging part of the redevelopment?

Keeping going with ‘Business as Normal’. Luckily, we have been able to work closely with our contractor to minimise disruption, but it’s still been challenging at times. We haven’t missed a raceday due to the on-going works and have also kept up a busy C&E schedule. Ensuring everyone can enjoy their visit to us safely whilst undergoing a full-scale re-development programme would not have been possible without the passion and dedication from our own staff and the appreciation of our business needs from the contractor. It has been exciting too – watching the old buildings that were no longer fit for purpose disappearing and a beautiful new space emerging has been wonderful. Huge thanks must go to our customers for their patience during this time – it will be worth it!

What part of the redevelopment would you recommend exploring?

All of it! The site we have created has provided us with the ability to offer new and exciting event spaces that will change and develop as we grow. The customer (whether they are horses or people) has very much been at the heart of all that has been designed and delivered. From the use of materials on the buildings down to the landscaping, we now have a coherent theme across our site that hopefully customers can really enjoy. The past two years has been a slow ‘reveal’ and we’re just as excited about showing off the new site to racegoers this weekend, as well as learning about how our customers will use them.

Top tips to enjoy the site:

  • Take your pick of the horses from the new steppings around the Parade Ring
  • Check out the Many Clouds Bar and enjoy a glass of champagne
  • Get closer to your equine heroes and cheer your winners back into the Winners Enclosure
  • Find out more about the racing industry by reading our information boards on the Copper King Pod