Horseracing supporters will have to wait two years before the Ellis Thomas Downs is fully repaired, Premier Andrew Fahie has said.
The Premier said this is because of the extensive damage the facility sustained by the September 2017 hurricanes.
“We recognize that repairs have to be done in a phased manner so that is why we have placed money in the budget for the Ellis Thomas Downs over a two year period,” the Premier said.
“To date, no plans have been made to re-erect the statue of Mr Ellis Thomas, and it is anticipated that this will be done next year once works on the track commence,” he further said.
He made the statement in the House of Assembly while responding to questions by Julian Fraser — the representative of the Third District where the racetrack is located.
The Premier also said the Ministry of Sports & Culture is committed to having the horseracing facility’s perimeter fence repaired in its 2020 budget.
Proper management being considered
In the meantime, Fahie said his government has been ‘considering’ options for the proper management of the facility.
“We would eventually like to put the necessary legislation in place to manage the facility and to ensure that the government can receive some level of return on its investment over the years. This Honorable House will be kept informed of its progress,” Fahie stated.
The racetrack was partially repaired last year by the BVI Horse Owners Association to facilitate the return of the sport in the territory.
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