Often called the home of British motorsport, Silverstone has been under increasing threats from Bernie Ecclestone over the past few years, the state of the facilities not being in favour with the sport’s commercial rights holder. While Silverstone isn’t on par with newer circuits like Shanghai or Istanbul, the track isn’t in terrible condition and perhaps the criticism is unfounded at times. However, Silverstone owners, the BRDC, have today announced plans to redevelop the pitlane area and improve the facilities in a bid to keep its place on the Formula One calendar.
The plans are pretty comprehensive and will see the layout of the circuit changed as the pit and paddock complex will be moved. Currently the pitlane runs off of Woodcote corner and rejoins the track after Copse. But circuit planners are now suggesting moving the whole area to between Club and Abbey.
The redevelopment plan is a ten year undertaking which will see the area in Northamptonshire change, including the building of a new manufacturer test centre, business park, leisure complex, hotels and a new residential area. Damon Hill, current president of the BRDC spoke to the press today of the exciting plans, which have been submitted to the council for approval.
This new facility, and the redevelopment at large, will help attract more business to Northamptonshire and create more jobs for local communities. The British Grand Prix alone contributes over £30 million a year to the local area and it is vital that we do everything we can to maintain this income as well as the UK’s world class expertise in high tech engineering and R&D.
Also, it should go without saying by now, that in order to retain the British Grand Prix we need a venue of this kind of stature, and the grand prix is a key element in the whole project. Damon Hill.
Richard Phillips, Silverstone’s managing director, spoke of making Silverstone rival other national sporting venues like Wembley, Twickenham and Wimbledon.
It is vital that we continue to diversify as a business to make sure that the UK remains at the forefront of the motorsport industry. As the iconic building on the circuit, the new Pit and Paddock complex will confirm our status as a global leader and will be something that everyone in the UK can be proud of. Richard Phillips.