UK Racing Fourth-Quarter Funding Confirmed By HBLB

A winning post in the UK | Emma Berry

A contribution of £28.1 million towards the funding of the UK racing's fixture list from Sept. 1-Dec. 31 was agreed to by the Horserace Betting Levy Board (HBLB) on Monday. Of that amount, £21.8 million will go toward prize money, bringing the HBLB's annual prize money grants to just over £78 million, 32% higher than the £59.3 million originally approved for 2020 prior to the disruption caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. These 2021 figures do not include the sums for further prize money and regulatory grants announced as part of the £15m programme of expenditure from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022 following HBLB's receipt of a loan from Government's Sport Winter Survival Package. The Sept. 1-Dec. 31 funding package, Programme Book 3, will fund prize money via a per-race rate card of 70% of the values in place for Programme Book 1. This change is the next step towards the Board returning to a sustainable level of prize money funding in recognition of racecourses continuing to increase their contributions.

Alan Delmonte, Chief Executive of HBLB, said, “This latest announcement confirms that HBLB will have been able to keep up significantly higher than usual contributions throughout the whole of 2021, as it has since June 2020.

“Even before taking into account the additional expenditure arising from the loan taken from Government, HBLB expects to spend around £78m in prize money for the year, 32% more than usual.

“Consideration is now being given to 2022, recognising that the recovery from the financial effects of Covid-19 will be gradual. The majority of the additional £15-million expenditure package announced last month will be spent in 2022 and the Board will look to provide extra support next year for as long as this remains affordable.”

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