Brackley aerodynamics firm chooses Silverstone Park as home for new sports engineering facility

TotalSim's 26,000 sq ft Silverstone Sports Engineering Hub at Silverstone Park
TotalSim's 26,000 sq ft Silverstone Sports Engineering Hub at Silverstone Park

Brackley-based aerodynamics specialist TotalSim has chosen Silverstone Park to develop a new 26,000 sq ft state-of-the-art sports engineering facility which it says will have global appeal.

The project – the Silverstone Sports Engineering Hub – benefits from a £2 million BTVLEP (Buckinghamshire Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership) grant and will have two wind tunnels: one for cycling and other sports such as wheelchair athletics, speed-skating, skeleton and running; the other for testing fabrics.

Dr Rob Lewis OBE

Dr Rob Lewis OBE

Offices, design studios and workshops for production, prototyping and testing will also be included.

"Tapping into the world-class high-tech skills pool around Silverstone enables us to create a unique innovation incubator for companies in sports engineering and services which we predict will have global appeal," said TotalSim MD Rob Lewis.

"If we can pool the right things together then we believe that organisations will come from around the world to take advantage of the facility – thereby helping to put the UK at the forefront of the development of aerodynamic technologies.

"In fact, this could be the start of a whole series of ventures around Silverstone to do with sports science, engineering and education."

The wind tunnel inside the new facility

The wind tunnel inside the new facility

The facility is expected to complete in early 2019 and, over a period of five years, it could provide 65 new jobs, 10 apprenticeships and support to 45 enterprises.

TotalSim has already enjoyed success in sports engineering with Great Britain’s cycling team and other Olympic sports, which earned Dr Lewis an OBE for services to science applied to sport.

The Brackley firm is also working on an aerodynamics facility at Catesby Tunnel in Daventry District.

The University of Buckingham and the University of Northampton are project partners.

The facility will be created inside new premises built by Silverstone Park Enterprise Zone developer MEPC as part of 125,000 sq ft of industrial units it has built at the estate, already home to the AMG-Mercedes F1 and Lotus Silverstone.

MEPC’s Roz Bird, commercial director at Silverstone and also chair of the Silverstone Technology Cluster said: "The Silverstone Sports Engineering Hub provides opportunities for companies in the area to apply their motorsport and/or advanced engineering capabilities to the sports science sector including cycling, winter Olympic sports and Paralympic sports which are all growing in popularity.

"This could make a real difference to the success of athletes and we are looking forward to working with TotalSim, a local company within the STC, to make this unique facility happen."