The Irish Greyhound Board has announced that a comprehensive, strategic review into the future needs of its 16 licensed stadia to determine the industry footprint of the future is to take place, including St James Park in Kilkenny.
The review is an integral part of the IGB’s Strategic Plan 2018-2022, which was published earlier this year. It will include an assessment of stadium infrastructure and financial sustainability.
The intention is to have the report completed by the end of March 2019, with a procurement process to appoint consultants to begin immediately.
The review is timely, arising from the ongoing significant changes that have taken place in the industry generally.
CEO of the Irish Greyhound Board, Gerard Dollard, said stadia will be assessed on an individual and collective basis in several different areas, including finance, population catchment and other competing sporting facilities near each stadium.
"The greyhound industry, like lots of other industries, has had to change and adapt in a number of different ways in recent years," he added. "This review, which is a big step forward in the implementation of the IGB’s five year strategic plan, will progress the industry’s footprint for the future.
“It is important to note that this will be an independent review, which will be tasked with making recommendations for the future of the Irish greyhound industry as a whole. Stakeholders within the industry will also be consulted, which is hugely important.”
The brief proposed for the study would include the following:
· Assessment of the infrastructure, services available and standard of facilities at all 16 licenced greyhound stadia in Shelbourne Park, Kilkenny, Curraheen Park, Youghal, Limerick, Tralee, Galway, Mullingar, Waterford, Newbridge, Longford, Clonmel, Thurles, Dundalk, Enniscorthy and Lifford.
· A financial assessment of the future sustainability of each individual track.
· An analysis of population catchments and access arrangements for each individual greyhound track.
· An analysis of racing schedules for each greyhound stadium.
· An assessment of any impact arising from availability of breeders or trainers within the catchment area.
· An analysis of relevant competing sporting facilities within the catchment area.
· Recommendations regarding the appropriate industry footprint for the future including detailed recommendations regarding individual stadia
· A consultation process with stakeholders within the industry.
The recently published Strategic Plan 2018-2022 proposes a capital development programme totalling €12 million.
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