Keeping the British Grand Prix at Silverstone helped Northamptonshire be named the most enterprising place in Britain on Thursday this week.
The county was nominated for the Enterprising Britain accolade by business and enterprise minister Michael Fallon at the MADE entrepreneurial festival in Sheffield.
The prize was presented to Northamptonshire County Council for its work to promote prosperity, including retaining the British Grand Prix and supporting smaller firms through its Inv-Ent business rate rebate scheme.
The county had stepped in with a £10million loan when the future of the race looked uncertain.
Councillor Jim Harker, leader of Northamptonshire County Council, said: “To be named the most enterprising place in Britain is a wonderful achievement for Northamptonshire and recognises our innovative and long-term approach to delivering economic prosperity across Northamptonshire.
“Not only is our Prosperity Agenda helping to support local businesses, attract inward investment and create new jobs, it has also been widely praised by businesses who have benefited greatly from schemes such as Inv-Ent.”
Mr Harker said the county’s 60 years of motorsport heritage made it important for the council to do all it could to promote the industry, which has Silverstone at its heart.
“Not only did our support help to secure the British Grand Prix for seventeen years, it also helped to deliver the new Wing Complex giving the circuit truly world class facilities,” he added.
“Clearly our work with Silverstone is but one example of the many initiatives we have implemented which are helping to drive our prosperity agenda forward.”
Mr Harker said the county council wanted local businesses to be able to compete on the international stage, and to build strong links with Europe.
He said the council’s Brussels office had already proved to be a valuable asset.
The Enterprising Britain competition, run by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, sought to find the locality that could best demonstrate a positive impact of enterprise on the community over the past two years.
Northamptonshire County Council will now go on to represent the country at this year’s European Enterprise Promotion Awards for improving the local business environment.
The awards are held in Nicosia, Cyprus, on November 15. A ‘European Jury’ will select winners from five categories.