Until 31 December 2018, the HRF was used to assist the operation and development of both Northern Ireland’s racecourses. However, since then, as result of a change in operator, Down Royal has been ineligible for support from the Fund as they were not specifically named in the 1990 Order as a beneficiary of the HRF.
DAERA proposed to amend the named beneficiaries of the HRF so that the current operators of Down Royal would be eligible for support under the Fund. The consultation also provided an opportunity for stakeholders to submit comments on the wider operation of the fund and support for horse racing in Northern Ireland more generally.
11 written responses to the consultation were received covering different interests including bookmakers, racecourse operators and those with a more general interest. The Department has completed a summary and analysis of the comments received. This analysis, along with the Departmental response to the comments can be viewed alongside the comments received at the links below.
The summary seeks to reflect the general views offered but, inevitably, it is not possible to describe all the responses in detail. In line with the policy of openness, respondents were informed that their views would be made publicly available. Those wishing their comments to be treated confidentially were asked to make this clear.
The Bill passed its Final Stage on 07 December 2021 and details of the Bill’s passage through the Assembly can be found at http://www.niassembly.gov.uk/assembly-business/legislation/2017-2022-mandate/horse-racing-amendment-bill/.
The Bill received Royal Assent on 2 February 2022 and came into operation the day after as ‘The Horse Racing (Amendment) Act (Northern Ireland) 2022’ Horse Racing (Amendment) Act (Northern Ireland) 2022 (legislation.gov.uk). The Act primarily amends the Horse Racing (Northern Ireland) Order 1990 to update the named beneficiaries to the Horse Racing Fund.
The original consultation documents can be accessed at Consultation on the Amendment of the Horse Racing (Northern Ireland) Order 1990 | Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (daera-ni.gov.uk)