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Preparations underway for the return of money-making Cheltenham Festival

7 March 2023
The Business Magazine article image for: Preparations underway for the return of money-making Cheltenham Festival

A record number of visitors are expected to descend on Cheltenham next week for the world-famous Cheltenham Festival.

Around sixty thousand people a day are expected to visit the four-day national hunt festival, which runs from Tuesday 14 to Friday 17 March.

And on the final day – when riders compete for the famous Cheltenham Gold Cup – that figure is likely to push 70,000.

According to researchers at the University of Gloucestershire, the festival – the second largest racing event after Royal Ascot – is around £100 million to the local economy – with hotels, restaurants and bars the most likely to cash in.

Meanwhile, the police and other agencies are putting into plan a number of campaigns around illegal taxi drivers, racegoers’ behaviour in the evening and night-time economy, and women’s safety.

Cheltenham Borough Council has even been offering business owners hydrophobic paint, which repels liquid splashed on walls by beer-filled festival goers – despite the provision of temporary toilets.

"I'm sure the prospect of wet trousers will make people think twice," Cllr Max Wilkinson, cabinet member for economic development, culture, tourism and wellbeing said.

Peter Davison is deputy editor of The Business Magazine. He has spent his life in journalism – doing work experience in newsrooms in and around Bristol while still at school, and landing his first job on a local newspaper aged 19. By 28 he was the youngest newspaper editor in the country.

An early advocate of online news, he spent the first years of the 2000s telling his bosses that the internet posed both the biggest opportunity and greatest threat to the newspaper industry and the art of journalism. He was right on both counts.

Since 2006 he has enjoyed a career as a freelance journalist. He lives in rural Wiltshire with one wife, two children, and three cats.

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