29th of March 2012 Author: Glo Wood
DCMS says GBP 90 million is to be delivered through charity and grant scheme
Details of its plans to deliver UK Racing's half share of the sale of the Tote have been revealed by the UK Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) this week. The Tote's buyer back in June 2011 was bookmaker Betfred and the consideration sum amounted to GBP 265 million.
It has been specified that the UK Racing's half share of the net proceeds, some GBP 90 million, will be dispersed through two different channels. The first one is a newly formed charity titled "The Racing Foundation" which will help fund charitable causes in racing, whereas the second channel is a grant scheme, administered by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), for applicants from the racing industry for State Aid compliant racing-related projects.
In a comment on the matter, Minister John Penrose said: "The sale of the Tote last year, after decades of trying, finally - and not before time - saw the Government move out of the bookmaking business. We promised that racing would get half of the proceeds and now we are making good that pledge.
'Racing is a mature, successful and much-loved business - today's announcement, along with our on-going plans to reform the levy arrangements between betting and racing, will be a further step in allowing it to prosper without unnecessary Government interference.'
On the other side, Paul Bittar, chief executive of the British Horseracing Authority, added: "We are determined to use the opportunity provided by the proceeds from the sale of the Tote to create a meaningful legacy for the entire sport.
"The process will operate under significant constraints, principally around State Aid, and the anticipated GBP 90 million will be received over a number of years, so we are very much taking a long-term view.
"Racing sensibly wants to build an endowment to provide the sport with a sustainable income stream for good causes and projects across the industry."
Based on the initial arrangements, the Government will pay GBP 10 million a year to the Racing industry for the next three years. On the other hand, future payments will be reviewed and the split decided annually by the BHA Chairman's Committee in consultation with DCMS.
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