As the economy shows signs of recovery, it is still difficult to attract high value investment – particularly from high-growth sectors that capture the imagination of local communities, businesses and residents.
In support, councils, local enterprise partnerships and business have a valuable tool in the growing places fund.
Formula E, the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile’s new global electric racing series, recently announced that its new headquarters and team facilities would be based within the grounds of the Donington Park Racing Circuit in North West Leicestershire.
Construction work on the 44,000 square-foot bespoke premises began on 2 January.
When complete it will provide state-of-the-art facilities for each of the 10 Formula E teams along with offices, stores and workshops for Formula E’s own operational staff.
A total of more than 150 people.
Formula E is a new FIA Championship using electric single-seated race cars capable of speeds in excess of 225 kilometres per hour.
Beginning this September in Beijing, the series will compete in the heart of 10 of the world’s leading cities including London, Miami and Rio de Janeiro.
Being in the ‘Motorsport Valley’ means Formula E can take advantage of the technology and skills all around.
The site is a stone’s throw from East Midlands airport and the hub of its logistics partner DHL.
All works will be complete by the end of April with the first teams moving in on 1 May.
The important role that councils perform was evidenced by the successful and close collaboration with business and the enterprise partnership.
The Formula E team, working with the North West Leicestershire DC, the Leicester and Leicestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, and the growing places fund, have all come together to make this great project happen.
We have seen this multi-million pound investment here once again prove the strength of the UK motorsport industry.
With the benefit of close proximity to the Energy Technology Institute at Loughborough University, and the Motor Industry Research Association, we have no doubt this new centre will come to act as a technical hub for the future development of these exciting new technologies not just for the motorsport industry, but for the wider automotive sector as a whole.
The value of the growing places fund continues to be evidenced by such success stories, generating jobs in innovative and important growth sectors, and the high leverage return on investment it delivers.
Andrew Bacon, chairman, Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership, and member of the National Growth Board