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Historic horse racing grandstand to undergo stunning transformation

Years of neglect and vandalism

The historic horse racing grandstand at Cottenham racecourse in Cambridge is set to undergo a stunning transformation after years of neglect and vandalism. The grandstand, which was once a popular venue attracting up to 6,000 racegoers and even had direct trains from London, fell into disrepair after the final meeting at the track in 2019. The abandoned racetrack at Folkestone in Kent, bought for £25 million, suffered a similar fate.

Plans approved for modern four-bedroom house

The transformation of the grandstand is now in full swing after receiving approval from council bosses. Developers Dakin Estates plan to convert the grandstand into a modern four-bedroom house, while still preserving its original features. The design will honor the grandstand's previous use, reusing existing windows and doors, and incorporating as many racing artifacts as possible. The hope is that the finished conversion will serve as a fitting memorial to the long tradition of racing at Cottenham.

Preserving the grandstand's history

The grandstand, built in 1925, was not just a viewing platform. It had various amenities such as a weighing-in room, jockeys' changing rooms, offices for stewards and secretaries, and toilets. On race days, it was a bustling hub of activity. The nearby building from the 1950s, known as 'The Masters Hut,' will also be repurposed as part of the dwelling created in the grandstand.

"The design of the proposed conversion will honor the grandstand's previous use, retaining the same build form, reusing existing windows and doors, and repurposing as many racing artifacts as possible," said a press release from Dakin Estates.

The transformation of the grandstand at Cottenham racecourse is expected to breathe new life into the historic site and keep the memory of racing at Cottenham alive.

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