Recent Times

During the 1970s and 1980s the course went from strength to strength, with the racecourse company achieving record profits in 1986.  By the late 1980s Dunstall Park’s future was threatened by plans to turn it into a shopping centre. The new owners RAM racecourses resisted the proposal and took advantage of City Challenge funding to greatly improve the facilities at the course. The £15.7 million scheme included the addition of floodlighting, the laying of a Fibresand all-weather surface, and the building of a hotel and exhibition hall. The all-weather circuit is almost completely flat, oval-shaped and about a mile in length. The first event after the completion of the work took place on 27th December, 1993 when 10,000 people attended the meeting. In 1999 the racecourse and hotel were purchased by Arena Leisure Plc.

The grandstand in the late 1960s.

In 2001, the track was further improved with the laying of 7,600 tons of Fibresand over 140 new lateral drains, and in 2004, the Fibresand and turf track were replaced with a Polytrack surface.

Since that time, only flat, all-weather racing has taken place there.

Unhappily during 2006 doubts were cast about the safety of the polytrack surface due to 6 incidents which took place over a period of 5 weeks, resulting in 5 horse fatalities and several injuries to riders. The course was inspected by an inspector from the Horseracing Regulatory Authority and was given a clean bill of health.

Dunstall Park is now the last surviving racecourse in the West Midlands and is Britain's first floodlit racecourse. It is extremely busy, hosting around 100 meetings a year, including its themed Saturday evening events. There are bars, restaurants, and a busy Conference and Exhibition centre, even having a licence to perform civil weddings. The course also has it own hotel, the Holiday Inn Garden Court with 54 rooms, a restaurant, fitness room and conference suites. It is very successful, and hopefully will continue to thrive in the future.

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