Saturday, December 9, 2023

They’re off! Doncaster businesses celebrate for return of the St Leger Festival

Doncaster Chamber is celebrating the return of the Saint Leger Festival this month when thousands of racegoers will visit the city, simulating economic activity with their presence.

This will be the 247th running of one of five British horse acing ‘classics’, with the 2023 festival kicking off yesterday with Ladies Day. Here, Doncaster Chamber members were able access to an exclusive marquee — with an unobstructed view down the home straight — that provided them with the ultimate St Leger experience.

Dan Fell, Chief Exec of Doncaster Chamber, enthused: “The St Leger festival is one of our biggest attractions here in South Yorkshire and its impact on the local economy cannot be overstated.

“Indeed, the business community truly reaps the benefits of this, especially those in the hospitality sector. Excited spectators come from all over the country to watch these races and, in the process, they inevitably end up staying in our hotels, dining at nearby restaurants, frequenting shops and visiting bars.

“Meanwhile, the St Leger Stakes itself is obviously an iconic race and the subject of enormous interest for sporting fans across the globe. Which means that it is also an opportunity for us to represent Doncaster on the world stage and really show ourselves in the best possible light.

“It should go without saying then that it’s incredibly heartening to see The St Leger return to its former glory, after all of the unforeseen disruptions that forced it to be cut short in recent years. In the face of great adversity, the racecourse has valiantly continued with this event in whatever form they could — and they deserve to be commended for that — but it’s great to see it now returning without any limitations.

“While we certainly have enterprising and tenacious businesses here in Doncaster — all of whom have demonstrated fierce resilience by weathering the economic hardships of our current times — we do need events like this to support them.

“It is for this reason that the Chamber always has a presence at The St Leger festival, as we recognise its importance for the region as a whole. Every year we have a dedicated marquee at Ladies Day where our members can relish in the glamour of the occasion, enjoy the various entertainment offerings and develop their relationships with peers.”

Stewart Olsen, MD of sponsor ORB Recruitment, said: “Ladies Day is always a fantastic event and one that we eagerly look forward to year after year. 2023 was no exception in this regard and, as proud Patrons of the Chamber, Orb Recruitment was delighted to be sponsors for the Chamber’s marque here. It was great to see members and colleagues networking together and enjoying a bit of downtime, at an event that’s truly like no other in our city.”

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