Construction company to run Donington Park

Grant Prior 14 years ago

Adroit Construction is set to take over the running of Donington Park motor racing circuit.

The Worcestershire based contractor and property developer is planning to spend £2m upgrading the track this year.

The circuit has been unused since last September following an ill-fated attempt to stage the British Grand Prix.

The track closed and administrators were called in after leaseholder Donington Ventures went into administration last autumn.

The company, which leased the circuit from owners the Wheatcroft family, folded after failing to raise the millions needed to upgrade facilities to stage the British Grand Prix.

Current owner Kevin Wheatcroft confirmed an agreement has been reached in principle for the Adroit Group to take over the running of the circuit on a 25-year lease.

David Broome, managing director of Adroit Group, said: “It is a big task and nobody is under any illusions about that.

“We intend to bring the site back up to a world class standard. The entire site needs attention whilst much of it will require a total overhaul from the track itself to the medical centre, hospitality suites, phone, radio and PA systems, IT systems, CCTV and general ground work.

“There is no magic wand, but through a calm, cautious, credible and sensible approach we know that we have the experience, expertise and absolute commitment to bring the glory years back to Donington.

“I believe the very fact that we fully understand the task at hand and were able to convey our realism and pragmatism were factors in us winning out over the other parties.”

Redevelopment work had already started and sections of the circuit had been dug up, making it unfit for racing.

The new operator is expected to take over running of the entire site, including exhibition facilities and the Norton motorbike factory.

Adroit Group’s operations director, Steve Watton, said the group hopes Donington can regain its FiA Grade 2 Licence following an inspection in August.

Regaining the licence would allow racing to resume at the track in September.

Mr Watton said: “It is a vast and multi-faceted site and our approach will dictate that no one element will suck the attention, life and finances from any other. Quite the opposite, everything must enhance everything else.

“Not only will we bring existing aspects back up to scratch but we intend to make exciting new introductions that will not demand huge capital outlay but will make best use of what we already have on our doorstep.

“It is also critical to us that we work with the Castle Donington community. It is as much their facility as anyone’s and we want them to feel part of it and be proud of it.”

Mr Watton, a club racing driver for more than 20 years, added: “Donington Park is one of Britain’s big three racetracks alongside Silverstone and Brands Hatch. It has the most fantastic heritage stretching back as far as the 1930s.

“This is going to be a dynamic new era but we want to preserve and celebrate such rich heritage.”

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