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Ford's Motor Sport Campus

DETAILS of the gigantic Ford Motor Sport Campus at Silverstone have emerged from documents lodged with the South╩Northamptonshire Planning Authority. The 50-acre facility will house Ford's Formula 1, World Championship╩Rallying and probably other racing programs in addition to Cosworth Racing and the Jaguar windtunnel. The plans reveal that there will be a total of 11 different buildings on the 50-acre site. This will be surrounded by a moat with the buildings being screened from the vicinity by trees and hedgerows.

The entrance to the facility will be at the current Main Entrance of Silverstone where there will be a round glass Visitor╩Center which will house a Museum and Archive. The other buildings will be inside the moated area and will include an office block (complete with reflecting pool), a leisure center for the staff and the various workshops and facilities for the different divisions, including a Formula 3 facility.

Cosworth and Jaguar currently employ 660 and 304 people respectively and according to the application this will rise to╩839 and 380 by 2003. The facility stretches from the current main entrance down through the fields (which are used as car parks at Grand Prix time) down to the new A43 Silverstone by-pass and around behind Woodcote Corner. According to the planning application the decision to build at Silverstone was made after Ford had assessed sites at the new Rockingham racing circuit, in Milton Keynes and at the Rover testing facility at Gaydon.

In fact the building work will be undertaken and funded by Silverstone Operations Ltd., the new company established in June to exploit the facilities at the circuit. The factories will then be leased to Ford on a long-term basis, providing the circuit with a return on its investment.

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