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Article published 14/02/2023

Scottish racecourses retain their quality ratings

Starting off the year on a high, the Racecourse Association (RCA) confirmed that four Scottish racecourses retained their status as excellent venues.

As part of their Quality Assured Racecourse Scheme, our Quality Assurance (QA) team score venues on areas of the customer experience. The assessment covers everything from pre-raceday information, the on-course experience and post-raceday communications.

Following their assessments in 2022, Ayr, Hamilton and Musselburgh all retained their five-star visitor attraction ratings. Kelso Racecourse retained its four-star visitor attraction rating.

Last year was a challenging year for racecourses and all sport and leisure venues. Keeping their status demonstrates each venues' ongoing investment into the raceday experience in Scotland.

In particular, our QA teams were impressed by a clear commitment to providing an inclusive and accessible experience for all visitors.

The racecourses have continued to maintain and improve standards across all areas and are delivering experiences that meet and exceed visitor expectations.

Information sign at Musselburgh Racecourse

Information stand at Musselburgh Racecourse. Credit VisitScotland / Kenny Lam

Recruitment trend

Last year (2022) was the first year with full attendances uninterrupted by government restrictions. The QA Scheme was an important way for the RCA to understand how the pandemic and the forced breaks had impacted raceday operations and the customer experience. 

A clear trend that was evident during the assessments was the provision and retention of temporary event staff. Racecourses, alongside all major sports and leisure venues, remain in fierce competition to recruit temporary staff to safely accommodate large crowds.

This has, unsurprisingly, impacted customer experience in some areas of the racecourse. The average score of 76%, a ‘good’ rating, acknowledges this fact and that racecourses remain dedicated to offering a great day out despite these challenges.

The RCA has said they will work closely with all racecourses in 2023 to analyse the trends arising from the assessments and continue to enhance the raceday experience.

RCA Showcase and Awards

As well as the quality ratings, venues also received recognition at the RCA Showcase & Awards for specific areas of excellence:

  • Ayr Racecourse received the 'Lovely Loos' and 'Spotless and Sparkling' accolades
  • Musselburgh received an accolade for 'Staff Customer Service'.

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