Horse Racing Ireland has approved funding of €2.1 million for redevelopment at Galway Racecourse.

The work, under the Racecourse Capital Development Scheme, will centre on the enclosure to the north of the parade ring.

The existing Tote Ireland building will now be demolished and replaced with a new structure incorporating a betting hall and bar/food facilities.

The two-storey building will feature a large, open-plan betting hall with capacity for up to 550 racegoers on the ground floor.

The new building will include a new champagne bar opening onto a large covered terrace overlooking the parade ring, betting ring and part of the racetrack.

Externally, there will be 46 Tote Ireland betting windows, with the majority facing the racetrack.

Construction of the new building will begin immediately after the 2017 Galway Summer Festival with a launch date ahead of the 2018 festival planned.

Brian Kavanagh, Chief Executive of Horse Racing Ireland, said: “Galway Racecourse’s new development will provide an attractive focal point in the enclosure and an improved level of comfort and shelter for racegoers.

“Removing the existing Tote building will reconfigure a traditionally congested area around the betting ring and parade ring, opening up pedestrian access and improving the enclosure layout.

“Galway’s seven-day festival is our most popular festival and HRI is happy to provide grant aid for a project that will directly benefit racegoers who head West every year.”