British government puts $24m into motor racing

The British Government has agreed to create a $24m fund to help sustain and develop the UK motorsport industry. The money will be used to implement recommendations made by the Motorsport Competitiveness Panel, which was set up to look at ways of strengthening the industry. Among those recommendations was the creation of a Motorsport Development Board to lead and coordinate development; the increase in participation by cost-cutting, improving infrastructure and better marketing; improving training; the creation of a Motorsport Academy; the transfer of technology from motorsport to other industries; the development of alternative fuels and the review of tax rules to help the sport be more competitive.

"In a fiercely competitive market we cannot afford to be complacent," said Trade and Industry Secretary Patricia Hewitt. "The industry's high tech, high value, high skills base is exactly where the future of British manufacturing lies. It is crucial that this industry, which produces some of the most cutting edge products in the world, has the backing to innovate and move forward with confidence. I am particularly keen to back the industry because the powerful brand of Motorsport can excite people to pursue careers in high skilled industries such as engineering and electronics."

The FIA responded the announcement by saying that "this endorsement of motor sport by the UK government is a welcome example to other countries. I feel sure that the industry will now produce some innovative proposals. I believe the Secretary of State, Patricia Hewitt, should be congratulated on this initiative."

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