A £32 million, 999-year deal has been signed to lease the development land around the Silverstone circuit, paving the way for its ‘masterplan’ to build new business and technology parks and hotels, and create thousands of new jobs.
The British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) announced this morning it has signed a deal with British firm MEPC for the existing Silverstone Industrial Estate and the development land around the outside of the circuit.
The deal means the circuit can pay back its short and long-term loans, including the £11.5 million borrowed from Northamptonshire County Council.
MEPC, which is owned by the BT Pension Scheme, says it has already identified projects to complete over the next two years, and says the ongoing development could be a 10-year project.
Silverstone already has planning permission for the masterplan project.
Stuart Rolt, chairman of the British Racing Drivers’ Club, 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.
“We have every confidence that their vision for our land will see the realisation of a high-quality development, which will add to the ever growing status of Silverstone as a world-class centre for motor sport and vehicle engineering. We are also confident that in MEPC we have a partner which fully appreciates the status of Silverstone as a race circuit, its history, the ethos of the BRDC and the importance of doing everything to ensure that reputation is enhanced in the future.”
Rick de Blaby, CEO of MEPC, said: “When we were approached with the BRDC’s vision of what Silverstone might become in its next iteration, it was easy for my colleagues and I to relate to such ambition; the creation of great business estates, with clusters of particular commercial activity that have a sense of place and community, is what we do.
“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. The BRDC has confirmed it has agreed terms with a “suitable partner” to further develop and invest in the circuit and circuit-related facilities.
It is aiming to complete these negotiations before the club’s AGM on October 4.