11 September 2013

Cllr Heather Smith, deputy leader of Northamptonshire County Council, said: “I very much welcome today’s announcement from the BRDC - this is tremendous news for Northamptonshire. The High Performance Technology industry and Silverstone in particular are of enormous importance to Northamptonshire and the local economy.

“When the British Grand Prix came under threat a few years ago we saw it as essential to step in and offer our assistance. Without the county council’s support the Grand Prix would have been lost to Britain which would have had a £6bn impact on the national economy."

How important is Silverstone?

Cllr Smith continued: “Northamptonshire and Silverstone Circuit are at the heart of UK motorsport industry. Within the county there are over 200 motorsport companies, employing over 6,000 people with an annual turnover of £0.6bn. Including associated industries this figure is 22,000 people, worth £2billion to the Northamptonshire economy.

“Northamptonshire without the British Grand Prix is simply unthinkable as a flourishing HPT sector is the cornerstone of prosperity in the county with the increased economic and social benefits it brings.

“Without doubt, hosting the British Grand Prix really puts the county on the map and enhances our standing in a national and international arena in a variety of ways.

“It was brave decision to come forward with the £10m loan but as today’s announcement shows, this has paid off.”

Financially savvy

Cllr Bill Parker, cabinet member for Finance, said: “Coming up with a £10 million secured loan was an innovative initiative for a strategic council and a very savvy investment decision.

“The loan has paid dividends in two ways. Firstly, the loan itself offered an excellent return for the council when compared to other investment opportunities and secondly, using this money has helped to safeguard and create jobs, which as part of our prosperity agenda is one of the key objectives of the county council and in these financially challenging times, completely essential.

“One of the roles of a local authority as an economic developer and enabler, is to lever in private sector investment to stimulate the local economy and this pioneering example of this practise has, in this case, been a tremendous success.

“Going forward, this could provide a model of how other local authorities might possibly operate.”