It’s been quite a year for the National Heritage Centre for Horseracing & Sporting Art at Newmarket. Since opening on 3rd November 2016 it has trebled the attendance figures of the town’s original museum and achieved the following:
- 33,000 visitors through the doors
- 21 family events
- 2,422 educational visits
- International visitors from over 28 countries from New Zealand to Columbia!
- 11 horses have been retrained and rehomed from the flagship yard for Retraining of Racehorses Charity (including Ray Ward, Steppe Daughter and Star Luck)
- 8 works of art by George Stubbs including ‘Fighting Stallions’ and ‘Lord Torrington’s Steward and Gamekeeper with Their Dogs at Southill Bedfordshire’ in the Packard Galleries – the new home to the British Sporting Art Trust.
- 872 Newmarket Monopoly sold
- 51,500 coffees made in The Tack Room Restaurant
The Heritage Centre has also been shortlisted for the prestigious Art Fund Museum of the Year 2017 alongside Tate Modern and recently won the 2017 Suffolk Museum of the Year Award. It was awarded Arts Council National Portfolio Organisation status in July which is not only a testament to the quality of the work and objects within the site and its ambition, but also to the hard work of the staff and volunteers. The future looks bright for the National Heritage Centre with robust plans in place to continue to increase visitor numbers, including an exciting programme of events for 2018.
“It was the dream design brief to work on – a complex project due to the historic setting and listed status of the buildings,” explains Chris Mather, chief executive, Mather & Co.
“But with a coordinated approach with the conservation architects and English Heritage it’s clear with twelve months under its belt, it’s an outstanding visitor attraction that many people have already enjoyed – for racing and non-racing enthusiasts.”