The Thames Valley is at the heart of the UK’s high-performance technology cluster, perhaps better known as ‘Motorsport Valley’ – a global destination for engineering, innovation and business development. ‘Motorsport Valley’ employs around 41,000 people, including an estimated 80% of the world’s top motorsport engineers.
Infrastructure networks such as Oxford Airport, which operates seven days a week offering scheduled and chartered flights – as well as air taxis and helicopters – and Farnborough, a full-service private airport, are assets to the Valley.
Thames Valley Businesses and Teams
Silverstone is the epicentre of F1 and is famous around the globe for its race circuit. Home to British Motorsport for more than 50 years, it is host to international events such as the Formula 1 British Grand Prix and the British round of MotoGP. The breadth and depth of companies in the resultant supply chain, together with the technical expertise and innovative minds within the cluster, are unique across the world.
Silverstone Park has the potential to be the largest Technology Park in Great Britain, and a global destination for engineering, innovation and business development. Over 80 High Performance and Technology businesses are situated at Silverstone Park; a designated Enterprise Zone at the heart of the UK’s High Performance and Technology cluster.
Many F1 motor-racing teams are based in Motorsport Valley, including Williams; Renault; Red Bull and Haas F1, and the region is fast becoming a growing base for international Tier 1 and 2 suppliers.
Based in Oxfordshire are Haas F1, whose European base in Banbury allows for quicker and easier access to the team’s overseas suppliers, as well as streamlining logistics for when the team travels to Formula One venues in Europe.
Headquartered in Indianapolis, US, Andretti Autosport has recently chosen to relocate its UK-based Formula E team operations from Donnington Park in Leicestershire to Banbury, Oxfordshire.
With strong ties to several marques, including BMW, Honda and Volkswagen, the team is owned by former CART Series champion Michael Andretti.
A Thatcham-based automotive and motorsport specialist that designs and manufactures high-performance transmissions used by motorsport teams around the globe, Xtrac recently opened its new manufacturing facility extension.
In the broader motorsport arena, Prodrivehas facilities across Motorsport Valley and have run programmes for major names including Porsche, BMW, Aston Martin, Ford, Honda and Subaru.
Their unrivalled experience and engineering capability means they can develop competition cars and run them in almost any series in the world.
Announcing its plans to establish an electric vehicle ‘pilot production plant’ at Silverstone Park, this is the first of several planned initiatives for Uniti to settle in the UK.
The facility will be used to produce their electric car, aligning with the UK’s Industrial Strategy to lead the world in zero emission and autonomous vehicle technologies.
Located in the Thames Valley, the Williams F1 team has 130 staff with 90 qualified engineers. Its conference centre is home to the largest private collection of Formula One cars in the world.
Education and Training
Motorsport Valley has a range of universities with industry-specific courses, such as Aerodynamics, Engine Design and Tyre Dynamics, from which to recruit highly-skilled graduates.