THE State Government has officially announced that it has committed $11 million to upgrade the troubled Broadmeadow race track.
Minister for Racing George Souris announced the funding yesterday and said the racecourse would be significantly upgraded, including the creation of a second turf racing surface.
The project will be funded from race fields fees following Racing NSW's successful defence of legal challenges in the High Court.
Mr Souris said the upgrade would be done in such a way as to enable racing to continue uninterrupted at Newcastle.
Stage 1 of the project will be to redevelop the B Grass into a second racing surface inside the existing course proper, 20 metres in width with the capacity to conduct racing for fields of up to 14 starters.
The size and geometry of the track will be similar to the Kensington track inside the course proper at Royal Randwick Racecourse.
The upgrade will also use the best available turf technology to deliver similar benefits to synthetic tracks during adverse weather conditions.
The Newcastle Herald reported last week that the course had suffered some embarrassing setbacks in the past year.
Racing NSW closed it for 10 weeks late last year for a $3 million repair job after jockeys and trainers expressed safety concerns over corrugations and undulations in the surface.
Broadmeadow had a reputation as one of the best wet-weather tracks in Australia, but two recent Saturday meetings, on July 14 and August 11, were washed out.