Northamptonshire County Council says the interest it has received on its £13 million loan to Silverstone will be used to support vulnerable children in the county.
It was announced this morning that Silverstone’s owners, the British Racing Drivers Club, had signed a £32 million agreement to lease development land around the circuit to commercial property firm MEPC.
The deal means the BRDC can pay back its debts, including around £13 million borrowed from the county council in three separate loans.
Councillor Heather Smith (Con, Prebendal), deputy leader of the council, said the interest will be ploughed into the child protection service, which has come under fire ever since a damning Ofsted report labelled it inadequate.
She said: “We have additional revenue to go back into helping run services, and it certainly will be helping with children’s services.
“This has come at a very good time for us, because we are facing huge financial challenges.
“The original loan was for four years, but it has been paid back in two. The interest will help us cope with additional pressures.”
Councillor Smith said the Silverstone deal proved the authority was right to make the loan.
She said: “We had quite a lot of opposition to making a loan of this size, and it has just proved we were right to pick up the ticket on this, to ensure the safety of the grand prix.
“It has had a huge impact on safeguarding the high-performance technology jobs, which are attracted to this area because of the grand prix.
“We think the loan has helped to secure 22,000 jobs, and the high-performance technology industry in the area.
“It has been a very good investment for the public purse.”
The terms of the deal are commercially sensitive, but Councillor Smith said the interest rate on the loan was “significant”.