Park village jobs still on track
Bosses at Donington Park say plans to create 100 jobs by building a "motor sport village" are still on track.
Christopher Tate, managing director of the venue, said a plan to create the development on the western side of the circuit was being considered by council chiefs.
If approved, Mr Tate said he hoped it would become a haven for businesses involved in the motorsport industry.
The Castle Donington circuit has already received interest from potential tenants, including a firm catering for motor racing enthusiasts, a bike racing tyre supplier, a historic race car restorer and a number of smaller companies.
Mr Tate said: "It is important that Donington is busy on a day-to-day basis – not just on race days. Aside from activities on the track, we want to make the most of what we have here."
He said the development would be close to the Norton Motorcycles factory, which is near the track's paddock.
"Norton has been a great success story – and I understand that it wants to expand its factory," said Mr Tate.
"We envisage a business park populated with motorsport firms that will have testing facilities on their doorstep."
North West Leicestershire District Council is considering the application for outline planning permission to site the 75,000sq ft development on a section of the paddock.
Donington first revealed its intention to create a motor sport village at the circuit two years ago.
At the time, Donington's owner Kevin Wheatcroft, the son of the circuit's founder, the late Tom Wheatcroft, said the development could be built on land inside the circuit loop – known as the infield.
However, Donington now has other plans for the infield. The land is being repaired after it was excavated by the circuit's previous operator, Donington Ventures, as part of an ill-fated plan to bring Formula One to the circuit.
It was originally excavated in 2009 to make way for an infield loop. But when the F1 bid failed, the present operators inherited an infield that needed restoring.
The two-year project to repair it started in September and involves reshaping and landscaping the spectator and the outdoor exhibition areas. Spectator banks are being created on the infield and should be completed in March.
Donington Park Racing, which runs the venue, said it would relocate its circuit office, which is near Copse Corner, to the new business park.