PRZOOM - /newswire/ -
Aston Science Park, Birmingham, United Kingdom, 2007/03/19 - A £26 million scheme to boost the UK’s £5 billion motorsport industry has received a £2.3 million investment from regional development agency Advantage West Midlands.
Advantage West Midlands has joined forces with three other regional development agencies, the Department for Trade and Industry, Department for Culture, Media and Sport and private industry to fund the Motorsport Development UK (MDUK) programme.
Motorsport is a major contributor to the West Midlands economy, worth around £850 million a year and includes world-class companies such as Prodrive, Ricardo and Zytek and is also home to the Motorsport Industry Association.
The five year programme will work to encourage innovation in the industry, including the development of energy efficient racing, and support businesses through a virtual ‘Motorsport Academy’.
MDUK also runs a Learning Grid which works with schools, colleges and universities to inspire the next generation of engineers and encourage more people to get involved in the sport to harness talent, skills and entrepreneurial spirit.
MDUK is based at Silverstone and is steered by a board which features Advantage West Midlands Board Member Brendan Connor.
Mike Clarke, Advantage West Midlands Motorsport Cluster Manager, said: “Motorsport contains a high concentration of important, higher value added engineering companies and is a sector where our region’s competitive advantage can be sustained globally.
“Innovation, rapid product development, entrepreneurship and collaboration are all hallmarks of the motorsport industry so clearly it is an industry we need to encourage.
“Motorsport Development UK will help us to work with other regional development agencies to use the sport to help protect this sector which is under threat from emerging economies and also as a way to capture imagination and encourage more youngsters to get involved.”
Motorsport Development UK’s Chairman Bob Gilbert, said: “The UK’s motorsport industry is a world leader in high performance engineering.
“The materials and technologies developed in motorsport offer benefits in many other areas and one of our objectives is to facilitate this transfer of technology.
“Our partnership between government, the sport and industry builds on success and Advantage West Midlands’ support makes the partnership stronger.”