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Funding boost for Newmarket Library's racing collection

Newmarket Library’s unique racing collection will soon be getting a makeover after The Racing Foundation agreed to provide nearly £10,000 of funding to improve the way it is presented and preserved.

The library’s racing collection is one of the most important of its kind in the country and is home to over 700 books on the history of racing, breeding and bloodstock.

Following Newmarket Library’s extensive refurbishment, the Friends of Newmarket Library applied to the Racing Foundation’s small grants scheme for a grant to update and refurbish the racing collection.

The grant of £9,850 from the Racing Foundation will enable the library to purchase new lockable glass shelving which will help to securely store and conserve the antiquarian books in the collection. It will also help to update leaflets and catalogues listing the items in the collection to make it easier for people to access information about it.

The separate room which currently houses the collection is also in need of redecoration and this is going to be repainted and updated using some of the locality budget provided by local county councillor David Hudson for the overall refurbishment project.

The racing collection is free to access on request but as the room has not been updated since it was opened, the current facilities are not suitable to display items and the more important older items will be better preserved using the new lockable glass shelving.

Kate Ashton, Manager of Newmarket Library, said: "We are very grateful to the Racing Foundation for this funding and also to the Friends of Newmarket Library and Councillor Hudson for their support for this project which we hope will make the collection more accessible."

Rob Hezel, Chief Executive of the Racing Foundation, said: "We are delighted to be supporting the refurbishment of the Racing Collection, which is home to a unique and impressive range of historic publications, reference books and biographies. The development of a more modern facility will raise greater awareness of the collection and increase its accessibility. It will help promote the cultural richness of horse racing and provide a reference resource for those keen to learn more."

Work on the Racing Collection room will be taking place between Monday 13 and Monday 27 March. Please note that there will be no access to the Racing Collection during this period, noise levels may be considerably higher than usual at times, and there may be paint fumes.