Business study could put Silverstone Park on ‘global map’

A top-level report aimed at boosting high-tech and motorsport businesses at Silverstone has been commisioned.

Thursday, 24th September 2015, 3:12 pm
Roz Bird, Commercial Director, MEPC Silverstone Park with partners who are supporting the new study

The new study will look at how this business sector has grown, what are the drivers for development and to see what else can be done to support greater investment in the area.

SQW, a leading independent provider of research, analysis and advice in economic and social development, has been commissioned by MEPC Silverstone Park to carry out the study, backed by organisations and firms across Bucks and Northants.

MEPC Silverstone Park commercial director Roz Bird said: “MEPC has been involved at Silverstone Park for two years now and in that time has had many discussions with occupiers and companies in the local area.

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“Every business and individual has a story to tell about where they started, the people that influenced them and the businesses that they have been involved with, and this activity has been taking place in the area for over 50 years.

“I believe that this is why the Formula 1 teams are here and it is why we wanted to map the activity and consider whether the area is part of an HPT&M cluster where similar companies not only gravitate to the same area but interact with each other and in so doing benefit from being close to each other in many different ways including access to a specialist skills pool, machinery and expertise.

“SQW undertook the Cambridge Phenomenon Report back in the 1980s. The study put Cambridge on the global map as a key high-tech cluster, bringing in venture capital and business angel investment and Government backing. It is hoped that this study could bring similar benefits to the area around Silverstone. The new study will also support the work of the MIA and its lobbying of Government.

“The cluster study provides an excellent opportunity to bring all the main local partners together to promote the area as a key economic geography – an engine room of the UK economy with global significance.”

Ian Barham, partnership manager of Buckinghamshire Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership, which is part-sponsoring the report, said: “We have got involved in this project because we see the high performance technology and motorsport sector as one of the jewels in Buckinghamshire’s crown and also the wider area and we see Silverstone as very much being at heart of that.

“This report gives us a real opportunity to build on the strength of the cluster, bring new investment into area and develop those businesses already here, but also make stronger links between business, commercial development and our academic institutions within the locality.”

Companies and individuals working within the ‘high performance technologies and motorsport’ (HPT&M) sector can get involved with the report by putting forward their own stories and ideas.