Silverstone reveals plans

Pits to be relocated between Club and Abbey corners

In an ongoing attempt to secure the future of the British Grand Prix, Silverstone has revealed plans to redevelop its pit and paddock complex.

With the contract held by the owners of the Northamptonshire circuit, the British Racing Drivers' Club, to stage the race expiring in 2009, the plans are seen as vital to the British Grand Prix's future.

Formula One commercial rights controller Bernie Ecclestone has long held the opinion that facilities offered by Silverstone are inferior to those of more recent additions to the calendar.

However, the BRDC are hopeful that the new pit area will act as a catalyst for further investment across the site as part of a 10-year redevelopment plan.

Under the proposals, the pit complex will be moved from its current location between Woodcote and Copse corners to a new location between Club and Abbey.

Included in the complex are new garages, a race control building, media centre, hospitality and VIP spectator zones and a primary paddock.

The proposals also involve creating a new pit straight, with reorganised entry and exit points, a reconfiguration of Club Corner and a new Abbey section.

In the longer term, the BRDC hope that Silverstone can also be home to a new manufacturer test centre, business park, extreme sport and leisure complex, two hotels, a new university campus, a 'Welcome Centre' and some new homes near the circuit.

Future vision

Damon Hill, president of the BRDC, said: "Silverstone is a great track with a great history. These images are the vision of the future for Silverstone, and one we fervently hope will be realised, in order to provide a venue where all forms of motor sport can be celebrated in style, for the benefit of the competitor and spectator alike.

"This new facility, and the redevelopment at large, will help attract more business to Northamptonshire and create more jobs for local communities.

"The British Grand Prix alone contributes over 30 million a year to the local area and it is vital that we do everything we can to maintain this income as well as the UK's world-class expertise in high-tech engineering and R&D.

"Also, it should go without saying by now, that in order to retain the British Grand Prix we need a venue of this kind of stature, and the Grand Prix is a key element in the whole project."

The plans are due to be discussed at a South Northamptonshire Council meeting later this month with a full planning application due to be submitted soon.