Work has officially begun on the £19.3 million Silverstone Experience Centre, a visitor attraction expected to attract over 500,000 visitors a year when completed in 2019. The Silverstone Experience will use the heritage of British motorsport to encourage high-performance engineers of the future, by working closely with the Silverstone University Technical College (UTC).
Whilst launching the construction of the project, the Prince and patron of The Silverstone Experience acknowledged the importance of the motorsport industry to the UK, describing the country as a “leader” in the sector. The UK motorsport industry is the provider of 40,000 jobs, over 50% of which are qualified engineers, and the industry generates £9 billion annually to the economy.
Richard Harrington, Chief Executive of Buckinghamshire Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership, said:
“We are delighted to support The Silverstone Experience Centre with £1 million Growing Places Fund loan investment, which will provide an exhilarating journey through motor racing past, present and future.
The Centre will attract up to half a million visitors a year and further drive the business and sporting benefits generated by one of Britain’s greatest assets. This booming sector provides employment in Bucks for an estimated 36,000 people, having grown twice as fast as the local economy since 2009.”
60% of Formula One firms are based in the UK, with the largest concentration located in the in the South East of England’s ‘Motorsport Valley’. The Thames Valley, at the heart of it, is home to the headquarters of Force India, Red Bull Racing, Renault Sport and Williams Martini Racing, meaning that F1 companies have access to the best high-performance engineers. Industry-specific courses located in the Thames Valley from the University of Oxford, Oxford Brookes University and the University of Buckingham help to fill the pool with the freshest talent, and maintain this important, innovative sector of the UK economy.
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