Williams helps The Curragh remain the front runner
Legendary Irish racecourse completes massive refurbishment with comprehensive selection of Williams products
Racing has restarted at The Curragh, albeit behind closed doors. Shortly before lockdown, Williams visited the venue to interview some of the key figures involved in the extensive refurbishment project that saw the stunning Aga Khan stand being opened in April 2019. With space for over 6000 people over four floors and a 7000 sq/ft roof, the stand is the largest single part of the project.
The Curragh occupies a 5000 acre plain near the town of Newbridge in County Kildare, Ireland. It is home to one of Ireland’s most important racecourses, and one of the major flat racing courses in the world.
Catering is a hugely important part of the operation at the Curragh, which can play host to many thousands of people on race days. Fergal Nugent, the Curragh’s head chef, explains. “We have everything from à la carte restaurants, casual dining and cafés, to a selection of street food and grab and go operations. We have to be able to cater to groups of all sizes, and making sure we had the right refrigeration equipment to handle all our needs here was vital.”
Intoto Design Limited was commissioned by Curragh Racecourse Limited to design and oversee all the food and beverage elements of the project, taking the brief and completing detailed design and specifications. “Our brief was simple: to design the food and beverage spaces to match the client aspirations of building a world class facility for racegoers,” says Simon Gillott, director of Intoto.
The project was installed by Kaneco Commercial Kitchen Specialists. Project manager Keith Mulvaney explains the scale of the undertaking. “This has been an enormous job, we’re creating a world class venue. We’ve basically rebuilt everything that was here,” he says. “We’ve brought all of the amenities up to modern standards – not just the public spaces, but the areas for staff and the owners and trainers too, and the behind the scenes infrastructure supporting it.”
The Curragh project was run on a lean system, which meant that construction was done in tightly controlled stages and only what was needed at each stage could be brought on site. “It was vital that we could trust the equipment suppliers to work with the kind of precise schedule we required,” says Mulvaney. “This is why working with Williams for refrigeration was so easy.”
A vast array of Williams equipment was required to meet the Curragh’s requirements.
This covers every step of the catering workflow, from bulk storage modular coldrooms to storage refrigerators, blast chillers and prep tables as well as bar fridges and wine coolers. “We were looking for a single manufacturer for all bulk storage rooms and plant,” says Gillott. “Williams was able to offer equipment that met the design and specification requirements, and to offer professional support during the whole design and installation process,” says Gillott. “The commitment and technical ability of the Williams team was key to the success of the installation.”