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
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
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.
After The War