JULY 11, 2003
Will the government put money into Silverstone?
The report of the Motorsport Competitiveness Panel made interesting reading and included a section about the need to support "world-class motorsport events", arguing that these are important to the economic success of the UK motorsport infrastructure.
They recommended that the planned Motorsport Development Board "accesses appropriate resources to ensure that the UK continues to host key world class motorsport events" to avoid losing the events. The panel strongly recommended that the government, sport and industry should work together to provide the infrastructure, sponsorship or other support necessary to secure these events for the UK in the long term. The report noted that "most Grand Prix circuits overseas receive a high level of state funding" and used the examples of Bahrain and Malaysia and that many other Grand Prix events overseas receive annual subsidies from the public sector and that they are owned and operated by state entities. The panel concluded that government support would reduce the risk of losing the Grand Prix. As an example of how governments cane help the panel noted the sponsorship of the Rally of Great Britain by the Welsh Assembly Government and the Welsh Development Agency so that the rally has been rebranded as the "Wales Rally GB".
The panel argued that a similar sponsorship could be organized for the Grand Prix and added that other practical support would be useful.
One recommendation is that the government should offer tax relief on capital expenditure as allowed for UK amusement parks. This would provide a cost saving for circuits wishing to invest in improving their facilities for spectators and participants.
The panel also recommended the construction of one or more International Karting Tracks, suggesting that a new facility be built at Silverstone and that two other venues should be upgraded to international standard. It also recommended the establishment of a Motorsport Academy to train new drivers but said that "the development of a high-level academy at Silverstone could be taken into account in future funding discussions, and should be viewed in context with all other planned developments at that venue."
|Print News Story|