Tourism report fails to name £80m attraction

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HOW can a report on tourism in Aylesbury Vale fail to make any mention of Silverstone?

That’s the question being asked by Buckingham district councillor Robin Stuchbury.

The Aylesbury Vale Visitor Economy Action Plan put before the economy scrutiny committee of Aylesbury Vale District Council (AVDC) names as the area’s key attractions Stowe Landscape Gardens, Claydon House, the Bucks Railway Centre, Waddesdon Manor and the Bucks County Museum in Aylesbury.

But it makes no mention of the Silverstone racing circuit, which brings 750,000 visitors to the area and generates £80 million for the local economy.

Now Mr Stuchbury has tabled a question for the next meeting of AVDC on July 11.

He said more than 9,000 hotel beds in Northants are occupied from the Silverstone Grand Prix alone but there is not one statistic on hotel beds in the Vale.

He told the Advertiser: “This report is supposed to be an action plan for the Vale but there’s a stark lack of insight to the north of the Vale. Surely the district council should have noticed Silverstone circuit is very much part of Bucks.”

AVDC cabinet member for economic development, Michael Edmonds, said: “We didn’t include the Silverstone figures because at the time of publication they had not confirmed their visitor numbers with us.

“Having Silverstone circuit within Aylesbury Vale is a source of great pride for us and we fully recognise its importance to the local, regional and national economy.

“We are supporting Silverstone in their plans to develop over the coming years and we were instrumental in the development of the ‘New Wing’ (pits and paddock area) which in turn helped to retain British Formula 1 at Silverstone for the foreseeable future.”