The owners of Silverstone circuit have signed a £32million deal which secures the future of the world famous venue and could created up 6,000 jobs.
Advertiser and Review motorsport correspondent James Beckett believes the deal could be the biggest in the circuit’s history, and will allow owners, the British Racing Drivers’ Club, to concentrate on supporting grass roots motorsport.
Today, Wednesday, September 11, the BRDC announced they had sold a 999-year-long lease to commercial property firm MEPC, owned by the BT Pension scheme.
The deal will allow MEPC to forge ahead with a masterplan of development which already has planning approval and includes several hotels, conference facilities, industrial units, and outdoor arenas.
Mr Becket said: “For the first time since the BRDC took control, they will be able to look after the interests of motorsport rather than developing land to support the circuit.
“They have another company to do that now and they can revert back to what they do best as a racing club.”
Councillor Dermot Bambridge, South Northants Council’s member for Silverstone said it was a big moment in the history of the circuit, but played down any impact on the village and is sceptical at the predicted job numbers. He said: “I’m delight that the circuit have managed to find a robust partner to help them achieve their goals and dreams.
“But we mustn’t forget the masterplan does cover 25 years and includes a new junction with the A43 , so the impact on roads has been taken into account.
“And the job numbers have been treated by many with scepticism, it’s impossible to work out where so many jobs could come from looking at what is planned for the circuit.”
BRDC chairman Stuart Rolt said: “Following major improvements to Silverstone, including significant investment in the Grand Prix Circuit and building of The Wing, the BRDC Board was given a mandate three years ago to attract suitable partners to invest in Silverstone and help realise the full potential of its 760-acre Estate. Over three years the Board has given consideration to a number of offers from credible parties and we are delighted to have reached an agreement with MEPC, which was selected on the grounds of its financial standing, reputation, the quality of the developments it has undertaken - and continues to own - and the price it was prepared to pay.”
Rick de Blaby, chief executive officer of MEPC, said: “That the BRDC had secured planning consent for its Masterplan is to its great credit and we are, of course, hugely cognisant of the immense history of Silverstone and its current standing today, not just as a venue for world-class motor sport, but as a centre for high-end precision engineering.
“It is now MEPC’s wish to see that vision materialise in all its forms and we are incredibly excited about investing in a number of the specific projects we have already identified for the next 24 months, albeit the on-going development of Silverstone could be a 10 year project. It is a significant responsibility to fulfil the entirety of our now shared vision, but one I am confident will be achieved.”
The agreement with MEPC does not incorporate the development or management of the circuit itself. On that subject, the BRDC can confirm that it has agreed terms with a suitable partner to further develop and invest in the circuit and circuit-related facilities. Under the terms of non-disclosure agreements the BRDC is not able to comment on any details, but the aim is to bring these negotiations to completion before the Club’s Annual General Meeting on 04 October.
For further information on MEPC, visit: www.MEPC.com.