NOVEMBER 9, 2007

The new Silverstone

Details of the plans for the Silverstone circuit have now become available with the plans available for download here. The BRDC's Master Plan aims to keep Silverstone as one of the rare original circuits on the F1 calendar, along with Monza, Spa and Monaco.

Formulated by Spencer Canning and a property advisory committee of BRDC members, the Silverstone Master Plan aims to release value from the Silverstone Estate in order to provide the financial means for the BRDC to implement necessary works required to retain the British Grand Prix at Silverstone beyond 2009.

In addition to developing and improving circuit facilities, the Silverstone Master Plan will enable Silverstone to realise its ambition of becoming more than a Grand Prix Circuit, and retain its position at the heart of motorsport valley. The long term objective is to expand its function and relevance to motorsport, leading technologies, education and training and, finally, to ensure that the UK continues to be the global leader in these specialist areas.

If all goes well the track will remain as it is but the land around the facility will be substantially developed with a new pit and paddock complex, new grandstands, three hotels, residential developments and leisure and conferencing facilities. The key to the development is 11 acres of land that is owned by the BRDC to the north of the circuit, between the A43 and Silverstone village. These are currently open fields but the BRDC wants permission to create up to 220 homes in a carefully landscaped area, with building design reflecting the local styles and the scale of the village. To the south of the A43 in areas which are currently used for parking, the plan is for an extension to the existing Technology Park with 41 of the 93 acres to be developed with the rest remaining as parkland. This would greatly increase the size of the existing park.

There would be 20 acres in total given over to three hotel developments. These would provide 450 beds in total. The first of these would be situated on the circuit side of the Dadford Road between the circuit entrance and the A43 junction. The second would be in what is now car parking space to the south of the main entrance and the third would be on the other side of the Dadford Rd by the roundabout leading to the Force India F1 factory. The fields to the south of the factory (which are currently used as campsites) would be developed into a 60-acre business park which would provide space for production, technical and motor sport related uses.

The central element of the development would be the Hub and Welcome Centre, which would include grandstands, a museum, a ticket office, merchandising and eating/drinking facilities. This would be a four storey building designed to be a gateway to the rest of the site. It would be located overlooking the straight between Club and Abbey corners. The back of the curved building would face out towards the car parking and would be linked with the new hotel development. This would thus provide a place for non-car using visitors to be delivered. This would face a new pit and paddock complex which would extend into the middle of the circuit. The BRDC has retained the option of keeping the pits in their current location.

To the south of this new start-finish area, behind Club corner there would be a major 33-acre educational campus which would be restricted to three-storey buildings with new screens of trees to screen the area from the Stowe estate.

The plans also call for what is called a Technical Support Centre, running along the inside of Hangar Straight, which would provide a purpose built indoor arena to accommodate virtually all motorcycle disciplines and create an all year round facility and advanced road riding skills facility, including police training. On the other side of the track at this point is an area where Porsche GB is planning to build a Manufacturer Test Centre with its own dedicated test track.

There would be further development on the inside of the Grand Prix track at the north end of the circuit with a triangular Exhibition and Conference zone incorporating an area for open air events, concerts, corporate launches, banqueting, shows and other uses complementary to the leisure industry, helping to support

the year round use of the site. On the other side of the National Straight there would be an Extreme Sport and Leisure Complex of around 20 acres which would feature karting, climbing walls, BMX, skating facilities and other complimentary leisure uses, designed to broaden the leisure appeal of Silverstone.

In addition to all of this there would be an area overlooking the Abbey Corner, which would be retained by the BRDC for its own developments. If the new pits are constructed in that area, this would be overlooking the new first corner. In addition behind the grandstands at Woodcote corner and the Complex there will be manufacturer show rooms so that fans could see the latest products when they were not watching the racing.

And finally there would be new grandstands all the way down the existing pit straight.