Some of the brightest business brains from the University of Gloucestershire have been developing new ideas to support business operations at Cheltenham Racecourse.

Managing Director of Cheltenham Racecourse, Edward Gillespie set students studying business operations the challenge of evaluating how operation management can support sustainable business practices at the Racecourse.

130 students entered the resulting competition, with £500 of prizes up for grabs provided by Cheltenham Racecourse. A shortlist was draw up of 12 entries by the course team and the finalists chosen by Edward Gillespie.

Lucy James’s innovative essay, suggesting the development of a mobile phone app was first past the post. The app would enable customers to purchase tickets, find their way around the course, see runners and riders and link to betting sites, eliminating the need to provide printed programmes.

Edward said: “Lucy has put a great effort into this work and the details she provided for the ‘app’ show real creativity, instinct and a sense of how a leisure venue can make best use of increasingly familiar technology. Thank you Lucy.”

Runner-up prizes were awarded to Abigail Newson for her idea of outsourcing temporary work directly to university students, Charlotte Lockwood for looking at a green roofing idea to provide environmental improvements and Daniel Bowlzer for addressing queuing issues.

Module leader, Maggie Zeng said: “The students’ ideas for this essay competition are closely related to the business operation of Cheltenham Racecourse, set in a real world environment and responding to the needs of contemporary local organization.”

“We believe this project is a great example of blending business theory with innovative pedagogic approaches to support the learning experiences of students and their tutors.”

The students will be awarded with their prizes by Mr Gillespie at the University’s Park campus on 24 September.

The University of Gloucestershire gained official university status in 2001 but has existed as an educational establishment for nearly 200 years. Today, we have three thriving campuses, Francis Close Hall and The Park in Cheltenham, and Oxstalls in Gloucester, which are occupied by approximately 10,000 students. In 2010, the University invested £5 million in teaching facilities including a new, state-of-the-art media and art and design studios.

The University of Gloucestershire delivers approximately 100 undergraduate course choices including accounting, law, business and management, fine art, TV production, humanities, leisure and tourism, social work and education plus and a diverse range of postgraduate and research degrees, and professional courses. For more information visit

Source: University of Gloucestershire