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BRDC broadens search for Silverstone investors

ESPNF1 Staff
May 3, 2012 « Updates must deliver - Massa | Petrov raises Mugello safety concerns »
The long-term plan for Silverstone © Getty Images
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The British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC) is looking to broaden its base of potential investors as it aims to secure funding for its 'masterplan'.

Silverstone has planning permission to expand its facilities over the next 20 years with three hotels, new technology parks and improved spectator facilities. Last year the BRDC entered exclusive negotiations with one potential investor, said to be backed by the Qatar Investment Authority, and was reportedly on the verge of leasing the circuit to the investors for 100 years before news on the negotiations went quiet. The BRDC has now revealed it did not come to an agreement during the exclusive negotiations and that, while negotiations will continue, it is currently on the lookout for other potential investors.

A BRDC statement on Thursday said: "Negotiations with the potential investor remain positive, but with the period of exclusivity coming to a close the BRDC plans to broaden its search and engage with other interested parties."

Chairman of the BRDC Stuart Rolt added: "The commercial potential of Silverstone and the Estate is significant and we are seeking external investment, from third parties who share our vision, to help us realise that potential more quickly. While progress has, and is, being made with our original preferred partner, negotiations have not yet developed into an agreement. As the period of exclusivity has come to a close we are now speaking to other potential investors.

"The BRDC has funded the new Grand Prix circuit, state-of-the-art Silverstone Wing complex, key developments around the venue and the planning process for the Silverstone Masterplan. An appropriately qualified investor will help to develop Silverstone further, into a world-class, multi-purpose centre for motorsport, high technology business, training and education. This is our vision and we remain committed to that."

Silverstone has a contract to host the British Grand Prix until 2026 and Rolt is confident the circuit will grow significantly during that period even if it does not secure outside investment.

"With or without any investment, the long term futures of both Silverstone and the Formula One British Grand Prix are absolutely secure. The Silverstone business continues to grow and is a commercial success, running major international events such as the Formula One Santander British Grand Prix and Britain's rounds of the FIM MotoGP World Championship and Superbike World Championship. Should the BRDC be successful in securing external investment, it will enable us to realise the full potential of Silverstone more quickly. If we cannot find a suitable partner, we shall continue with the development ourselves, albeit at a slower pace."