Prize-money for next year in the UK has been given a shot in the arm with an extra £4.2m from the Levy Board.
They have decided to increase their contribution to prize-money as part of an overall ramp in expenditure of £5m.
The vast majority of the extra cash will go to improving the race programme, particularly on the Flat, with a view to ensuring that field sizes are maintained, or improved, and that higher quality racing is suitably underpinned.
In total, £5.7m of the Levy Board’s £38.2m prize-money contribution next year will be for higher quality races.
Racecourses will benefit from an increase of 33% in the allocation to the Board’s Fixture Incentive Scheme, which provides funding to racecourses which stage fixtures in certain winter slots.
The allocation to the scheme increases from £2.1m this year to £2.8m in 2012.
Levy Board chairman Paul Lee said: “We are pleased to increase our contribution to prize-money by over £4m.
“The board has acted prudently in very difficult financial circumstances in the recent past and has taken some tough decisions.
“This prudent approach is continuing, but we believe that we can reasonably spend more next year than was possible this year. We expect the benefits of this targeted extra expenditure to be evident soon.”
The Levy for the next financial year is expected to yield £72.4m and was agreed on just before the midnight deadline on October 31 to prevent the 51st scheme being handed over to Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt to determine.