In the UK, motorsport engineering and services has a total turnover in excess of £5 billion, of which 50% is exported. The industry employs 38,000 people, with 75% of this workforce being highly qualified engineers working in 3,000 individual, mostly small and medium sized enterprises. The motorsport sector and its supply chain drives the development and growth of companies which make up the cluster of 450 high-performance engineering (HPE) companies in the East Midlands, including 200 motorsport-specific companies.
The cluster consists of engine builders, precision engineers and electronics specialists. But there is also a huge skills overlap which takes the business activity of HPE companies into the field of servicing for the automotive, aerospace, electronics, material technology, watersports and medical technologies sectors.
UK teams, engineering firms and supporting services have been a major global force in motorsport for many years now. In the UK, motorsport manufacturing is concentrated in a cluster that includes the East Midlands, Northamptonshire in particular. Here, we boast major venues for racing and testing vehicles:
Silverstone, the internationally renowned, world-class venue for motorsport events home of the British F1 Grand Prix and British Motorcycle Grand Prix
Rockingham, the only ‘oval’ motorsport circuit in the UK
Santa Pod, the UK’s premier drag racing strip
MIRA, renowned as a leading design, testing and certification organisation that provides engineering expertise and advanced testing facilities across the entire range of transport technologies
With such resources on hand it is easy to see why 200 plus major motorsport companies, employing 6,000 people with an annual turnover of £0.6 billion, have made their base in the East Midlands. In addition, the region is home to:
Internationally recognised engine builders including Cosworth, Ilmor Engineering, Mahle Powertrain and Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines
A significant share of the international motorsport supply chain, (including expertise in composites and precision engineering)
F1 constructors Mercedes F1 and Force India
The National College of Motorsport
A partnership of three further education colleges based in the heart of Motorsport Valley, this was the first vocational centre for motorsport and performance engineering to tackle the decline and shortage of craft technicians’ skills within the motorsport industry. Tresham Institute, based at Silverstone circuit, provides training for students entering motorsport as race technicians.
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