A BRICK supplier is marking the successful completion of the first phase of a contract to redevelop York's racecourse as horse racing gets underway for 2014

York Handmade Brick Company, based at Alne, near Easingwold, supplied more than 80,000 bespoke bricks to the racecourse.

The bricks have formed part of Phase One of the redevelopment of the northern end of the racecourse, designed to improve facilities for racegoers, horses and jockeys.

The multi-million redevelopment involves moving the pre parade ring, rebuilding a perimeter wall and creating new saddling boxes, veterinary area and a new wash-down area for horses.

The work has been completed in time for this week’s Dante Festival.

Phase Two, in which York Handmade is also involved, will include a new weighing room building, with the existing facilities being converted into space for racegoers, possibly including a new restaurant. That is scheduled to be completed by May next year.

William Derby, the chief executive of York Racecourse, commented: “York Handmade have done a magnificent job and we are extremely grateful to them. Their bricks form a crucial part of the new-look northern end of the racecourse.

“We chose the company because of their excellent reputation as a heritage brick manufacturer as we had to rebuild an historic wall, designed by the York architect Walter Brierley in 1910, and needed a quality wall in its place. York Handmade have delivered exactly that.”

Guy Armitage, a director of York Handmade, said: “We were proud to play our part in the significant refurbishment of one of the very finest racecourses in the country and we are delighted that our bricks fit in so well in their new surroundings.

"It was a challenge to replace a wall designed by such a renowned York architect as Walter Brierley, but we feel we have done ourselves justice.”