There was room for optimism following the publishing of the BHA’s annual report and accounts for 2016, which has identified shoots of growth across several key metrics within the sport.

One of the highlights includes achieving reform of the Levy. With the new changes having come into effect last month it is anticipated that racing can benefit from an additional £30-£40 million.

The BHA has also delivered on its financial performance. Last year the governing body reduced its deficit by almost 50%, from an expected £349,000 to £175,000.

Chairman of the BHA, Steve Harman, said: “Racing made good progress in 2016 through having in place a clear growth strategy, strong governance and strong leadership both within the BHA and across the sport.

“In 2016 the BHA showed its commitment to tackling head on the challenges the sport faces. This was visible in our work with Government towards replacing the Levy system; our commitment in addressing the challenges our industry faces in recruiting staff to the sport and ensuring we care properly for those people who work within the industry; making improvements to ownership to better cater to owners – major contributors to our sport; building our intelligence and investigative capabilities; enhancing our human and equine testing strategies and ensuring we are prudent and sensible in how we invest the sport’s money.

Racing made good progress in 2016

“The additional revenues secured from April 2017 via the replacement Levy represent the start, rather than the end, of a journey towards long-term, sustainable growth.

“I would like to thank all of those working in our great sport for the part they play from before dawn to after dusk and for your continued support in the future.”

In addition, the BHA have been able to raise more than £12 million through the Authorised Betting Partner Scheme, which prevented the sport from making cuts in certain areas.