Newbury Racecourse given top billing through Quality Assured Racecourse Scheme

  • Newbury Racecourse named amongst the top 11 racecourses for raceday experience by VisitEngland
  • All British racecourses accredited as ‘good’ or better
  • Year-on-year scores increase by 3% as record average score achieved

Newbury Racecourse has once again been confirmed as one of the top 11 racecourses to visit in England and Wales by national tourist board VisitEngland as part of the Racecourse Association’s (RCA) Quality Assured Racecourse Scheme (QARS).

In addition to the general assessment, Newbury Racecourse also achieved Excellence Accolades in specific areas of assessment, namely Staff Customer Service, Visitor Information & Signage and for the first time, Quality Café/Restaurant for the Owners Club.

Julian Thick, Chief Executive of Newbury Racecourse commented: “It’s fantastic to be recognised in this year’s awards. Customer experience is of paramount importance to us and I am particularly proud of all the team who have been presented with a number of challenges during our ‘heartspace’ redevelopment which is now almost complete. It is pleasing to see they have been rewarded with an Excellence Accolade in Staff Customer Service for the fourth year running.

“A positive experience from the moment our customers choose to spend their day with us is key to ensuring we grow our audiences and encourage repeat attendance at Newbury. Every aspect of the raceday experience is thought about and we continue to work hard to ensure we provide racegoers with everything they need to know in advance of racing and whilst they’re on-course.”

In 2018, the RCA’s QARS once again saw all British racecourses accredited as ‘good’ or better as average scores increase to 83%. This score is the highest on record for this scheme, demonstrating the continued investment in raceday experience by British Racecourses.

Each racecourse is visited by a trained assessor from VisitEngland whose job is to objectively assesses the raceday experience. This assessment includes all customer touchpoints from the raceday and also comprises pre and post event information.

VisitEngland, responsible for all assessments in England and Wales, confirmed the top 11 racecourses for raceday experience in 2018 were (alphabetised): Aintree, Ascot, Beverley, Cheltenham, Chester, Newbury, Newmarket (July), Ripon, Uttoxeter, Wincanton and York. The benchmark score to be included in this prestigious company was 88%.

Paul Swain, the RCA’s Brand & Experience Manager, commented: “The Quality Assured Racecourse Scheme is a much-valued offering from the RCA in that it provides an expert, objective assessment of the raceday experience. More importantly, the feedback and evidence generated help racecourses to improve this year on year which I am delighted to say has been reflected in the scores.”

Andrew Stokes, VisitEngland Director, said “Our research shows that people want to visit our globally renowned racecourses with their historical pedigree and atmospheric race-day experience.  The RCA Excellence accolades reinforce what people already know, that a day at the races in England and Wales is a world-class day out.

“And with racecourses dotted around England and Wales more visitors are travelling to experience all that a race-day has to offer, boosting the local economy throughout the year.”