British racing has been boosted by the news that it will receive £21 million of loan funding from the government’s Winter Sport Survival Package with the funds committed to the Horserace Betting Levy Board.

In a statement released on behalf of the British Horseracing Authority, Racecourse Association and The Horsemen’s Group, it said: “Racing’s leaders asked government to allow the Horserace Betting Levy Board to be the recipient of loan funding, because of its role in providing central funding to support raced and other industry costs. Work continues with the HBLB to agree how the loan funding can best be used to assist the industry with surviving and recovering from Covid-19.”

The BHA’s Chief Executive Julie Harrington said: “We are extremely grateful to officials at Sport England, DCMS and the Treasury for their support in agreeing this funding to racing. We are also grateful also to the Horserace Betting Levy Board for agreeing to our proposal and borrowing this money to support the central funding of racing.

“This money will help ensure racing continues behind closed doors despite the absence of spectator revenues. This will benefit our racecourses, our participants and their communities, and the vital role racing plays as an employer and contributor to the rural economy.”

Racehorse Owners Association Chief Executive Charlie Liverton added: “Our thanks go to the officials at Sport England, DCMS, and the Treasury for their help and support in providing this loan to British Racing. In particular, the team at Sport England for their time and advice during the process.

“The HBLB will be the recipients of the loan and we look forward to working with them to understand how the loan can be best utilised going forward. The Government’s Sports Winter Package has provided financial support to may sports industries over the past few months and this support to British Racing is very welcome.”