The Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP, Secretary Of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport visits The National Heritage Centre of Horseracing and Sporting Art at Palace House Newmarket
The National Heritage Centre of Horseracing and Sporting Art at Palace House, Newmarket, welcomed Matt Hancock MP to the five-acre site which sits as the heart of the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s home constituency of Newmarket.
Hancock, who was appointed Secretary of State for the department which includes museums and heritage in January 2018, was welcomed by Director, Chris Garibaldi for a guided tour of the Kings Yard galleries and Rothschild Yard to meet the retired racehorses who live on site as part of the Retraining of Racehorses charity’s flagship yard.
Matt Hancock commented: “To have this incredible cultural and historical site in my home constituency makes me incredibly proud. I was here for its formal opening by Her Majesty The Queen back in November 2016 and it is wonderful to return again and remind myself of just how much there is to see. Everyone should visit, whether a horseracing fan or not. Being able to meet live horses, the equestrian stars of the show, makes it a particularly special showcase for Newmarket as the Home of Horseracing.”
Chris Garibaldi added: “It is especially satisfying to welcome the Secretary of State at this moment when we have just been confirmed in our new status with the Arts Council as a National Portfolio Organisation. For the first time this provides us with a proportion of core funding to support our work including special exhibitions, education and community engagement.
Perhaps as important though is the recognition it provides of our National status and ambition – the Museum and all of its supporters have worked so hard to create a world-class facility for locals and visitors alike and Matt has always been a staunch supporter of the redevelopment project.”
Palace House, Newmarket was provisionally awarded Arts Council National Portfolio Organisation status in July 2017 which is not only a testament to the quality of the work and objects within the site and its ambition, but also to the hard work of the 42 staff and volunteers. In its inaugural year of opening the site has welcomed over 33,000 visitors through its doors and offered over 2,422 educational visits with international visitors from over 28 countries.
The National Heritage Centre for Horseracing and Sporting Art was formally opened by its Patron, Her Majesty the Queen on 3rd November 2016. Its creation was made possible by a £4.99m National Lottery grant and further support from the Racing Industry as well as many private trusts, foundations and individuals from the world of horseracing and beyond. Forest Heath District Council and Suffolk County Council also invested in the project, designed to celebrate Newmarket’s unique Royal and racing history with a visitor attraction that would boost High Street spending.
As well as showcasing the largest collection of historic memorabilia the sport has to offer in the UK, the Centre in Newmarket has also hosted a number of special art and photographic exhibitions including ‘Selling Champions: Tattersalls at 250’; ‘Gods of Sport: 50 Years of Sporting Photography by Chris Smith’; ‘Boxiana: Heroes of the Ring’ the current exhibitions are: ‘Painting Winners: Sir Alfred Munnings’ with a celebration of works by James Ward: Animal Painter due to open in early May.
Don’t miss Easter at Palace House between March 30 and April 2 2018. Families and friends can enjoy £5 off a Family/Friends ticket which consists of two adults and four children when they book before March 20, 2018.