A NORTH Yorkshire racecourse is about to start on the final phase of a multi-million pound investment programme.

Catterick Racecourse is spending £3.5m to improve the experience for racegoers, jockeys, trainers, stable staff and owners.

Fiona Needham, general manager, showed local MP Rishi Sunak the works completed so far.

These included an extended weighing room complex, complete with a new warm-up area, state-of-the-art facilities for jockeys and space to relax between races.

An enlarged parade ring gives racegoers an improved view of the runners when making their selections, and includes a new winner's enclosure.

The first stage of the works, which opened last December, featured a new main entrance, offices, saddling boxes, and horse box park.

The last phase of the work will start shortly and is for a new two-storey trackside owners and trainers’ facility, which is due to be ready in the early part of the 2020 flat season.

Mr Sunak welcomed the improvements to the course, which is Yorkshire’s busiest with 25 flat and National Hunt meetings over the year.

He said: "This investment is a great vote of confidence in the course by the owners and the local area. The improvements so far are very impressive and I look forward seeing the completion of the works which will see Catterick remain the ‘Course with Character’ but also offer the facilities modern racegoers and the industry expect.”

The work has been designed by Richmond-based architects Hale Irwin Associates.

Mrs Needham said: "The improvements will greatly enhance the race day experience for both racing professionals and racegoers alike."