Silverstone to cut workforce

THE first effects of the BRDC's 15-year lease of Silverstone Circuit to Octagon have been felt with the internal announcement that the Northamptonshire venue's workforce is to be cut by 31% through the duplication of roles between the two companies.

The global sports marketing giant forged a deal with the BRDC last December that was touted as a ‘dream ticket', thereby securing the British Grand Prix's future until 2016, but the announcement that 50 of the 162 permanent workers at the Northamptonshire circuit are to be fired has come as a bitter blow.

The Silverstone workforce has long been a close-knit community in which several entire families have been employed. Already there is talk of a reprisal if there is inadequate explanation of the job cuts or settlement to the affected workers.

Like Brands Hatch, whose bid to win back the British Grand Prix for the first time since 1986 was overruled by environmental concerns, Silverstone's hold on the British Grand Prix depends on meeting many such criteria set by both local and central government. A number of issues have remained dormant in Northamptonshire because of the high percentage of employment at Silverstone among the communities that surround the circuit.

Should the livelihood of these communities be threatened it will likely see a number of these environmental issues raised. At the very least they could provide an obstacle to the venue's push for government assistance in the upgrading of the circuit, and at most may bring about a renewed threat to the existence of the British Grand Prix.

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