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BHA publishes 2019 budget

Nick Rust 2018 agmThe British Horseracing Authority has published its business plan and budget for 2019. This is an updated version of the three-year plan covering 2017-19, originally published in December 2016.

Approved by the BHA Board and agreed with the BHA’s shareholders, the document provides clarity about the BHA’s key areas of focus for the next twelve months as well as details of the organisation’s financial situation.

Key points from the 2019 business plan and budget include:

· Six key areas of focus identified for 2019

· Additional activity has been undertaken in a number of areas since the original business plan was published including safeguarding, diversity, the buying and selling of bloodstock, and various areas relating to equine welfare and regulation, including the implementation of a new officiating model

· The BHA remains on track to meet its original objective of breaking even in cash terms over the three-year period, primarily due to savings in activity costs delivered across the organisation

· Fees will rise by 3% in 2019, which means that for the second year in succession increases are slightly less than included in the original budget

Nick Rust (pictured), Chief Executive of the BHA, said: “In addition to our Annual Report, this Business Plan and Budget Guide is designed to provide a concise summary of what we plan to focus on over the coming year, what it will cost and how it will be funded.

“The BHA strives to be open, transparent and in touch with the needs of the sport. This year, we have been very mindful of the funding challenges we face in the light of the impact of the recent Gambling Review. We need to set ourselves up to manage risks and capitalise on opportunities, whilst supporting racecourses and participants to maintain income.

“We appreciate that any rises in fees are unwelcome for our participants, but the increase in fees that we are announcing today is essential if the BHA is to deliver on its various responsibilities to British Racing. It is always my priority to ensure that those paying our fees receive value for money for their contribution to the BHA.

“The last year has seen the BHA take on additional activity in some key areas for our sport. Working on safeguarding, diversity as well as important changes to stewarding and our integrity function has inevitably had an impact on our workload.

“However, a combination of other cost savings and technological advances have meant we are able to reduce the impact this has on fee payers next year, and also achieve our aim of breaking even in cash terms for the period 2017-19.”

The BHA is expecting to generate a cash surplus of £53k between 2017 and 2019, including a small cash deficit of £48k for 2019.

The business plan sets out the BHA’s key areas of focus for next year which are:

· Equine welfare – providing equine welfare leadership, continuing to improve outcomes and addressing public perceptions

· Industry People – co-ordinating properly funded and aligned staff recruitment, training and retention, whilst promoting diversity across the industry

· Regulation and Integrity – Inspiring confidence that British racing is fair and clean, through robust regulation and integrity procedures

· Racing – provide a world-leading programme of competitive and compelling racing

· Leadership – leading British racing, enabling it to grow and flourish into the future

· Development – investing in research and encouraging innovation, to enhance our business performance and unlock long-term cost-effectiveness for the sport

Amongst these is a new area of focus designed to improve the technology by which the sport is run in order to improve processes and deliver efficiencies as well as the improving the level of service provided to the sport and its participants.

Nick Rust added: “Technological improvements in the way we govern and administer the sport have allowed us to take on important additional activity whilst reducing the effect this has on our fee increase.

“Advancements in this fast-moving area provide us with opportunities to help our sport and the people within it, and, with the support of our shareholders, we will continue to invest in digital technology and innovation to ensure that the services we provide to the sport meet the ever-growing expectations of those that use them.”

19 December 2018

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