The British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) confirmed that it has completed a transaction with British commercial property company MEPC, which has taken a 999-year lease on the existing Silverstone Industrial Estate and the development land around the outside of the circuit, on which planning permission has been granted. This agreement does not include the management or development of Silverstone Circuit itself.
MEPC is owned by the BT Pension Scheme, the UK’s largest corporate pension scheme, which also owns Hermes Fund Managers. Importantly, MEPC is a long-term investor, which understands about the creation, development and on-going management of large Business Estates, meaning that it has an alignment of interest with the BRDC and its vision for the future of Silverstone.
MEPC has paid £32 million (approx. €39.9 million) for a long-term lease. This payment has allowed the BRDC to pay off its long and short-term loans from Lloyds Banking Group and Northamptonshire County Council, to whom the BRDC is grateful for support.
Stuart Rolt, Chairman of the British Racing Drivers’ Club, said: “Following major improvements to Silverstone, including significant investment in the Grand Prix Circuit and building of The Wing, the BRDC Board was given a mandate three years ago to attract suitable partners to invest in Silverstone and help realize the full potential of its 760-acre Estate. Over three years the Board has given consideration to a number of offers from credible parties and we are delighted to have reached an agreement with MEPC, which was selected on the grounds of its financial standing, reputation, the quality of the developments it has undertaken - and continues to own - and the price it was prepared to pay.
“We have every confidence that their vision for our land will see the realization of a high-quality development, which will add to the ever growing status of Silverstone as a world class center for motor sport and vehicle engineering. We are also confident that in MEPC we have a partner which fully appreciates the status of Silverstone as a race circuit, its history, the ethos of the BRDC and the importance of doing everything to ensure that reputation is enhanced in the future.”
Chris Taylor, Chairman of MEPC, said: “As a long term investor we are delighted to have secured this opportunity to create a large, commanding commercial estate with a key technology driver which will benefit hugely from its location, infrastructure and association with the home of world motor racing at Silverstone. The MEPC platform continues to demonstrate its ability to develop, manage and add value across its portfolio of major business estates in an innovative manner with a conviction to understand the needs of its occupiers as the key to its success.”
Rick de Blaby, Chief Executive Office of MEPC, said: “When we were approached with the BRDC’s vision of what Silverstone might become in its next iteration, it was easy for my colleagues and I at MEPC to relate to such ambition; the creation of great business estates, with clusters of particular commercial activity that have a sense of place and community, is what we do. That the BRDC had secured planning consent for its Masterplan is to its great credit and we are, of course, hugely cognizant of the immense history of Silverstone and its current standing today, not just as a venue for world-class motor sport, but as a center for high-end precision engineering.
“It is now MEPC’s wish to see that vision materialize in all its forms and we are incredibly excited about investing in a number of the specific projects we have already identified for the next 24 months, albeit the on-going development of Silverstone could be a 10 year project. It is a significant responsibility to fulfil the entirety of our now shared vision, but one I am confident will be achieved.”
The agreement with MEPC does not incorporate the development or management of the circuit itself. On that subject, the BRDC confirmed that it has agreed terms with a suitable partner to further develop and invest in the circuit and circuit-related facilities.