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Government Drives Forward UK Motorsport Cluster
This money will help implement recommendations of the Motorsport
Competitiveness Panel published today. The panel looked at ways to
strengthen the industry and sport from Engineers at a grass roots
level right up to the Formula 1 drivers at the top level of Motorsport.

The panel, which was made up of leading players from Industry, Sport,
Academia and Government, was set up by the DTI in October 2002. It
recommends that:

- a Motorsport Development Board be created to lead, coordinate and
prioritise development activities

- participation in the sport should be improved by reducing cost,
improving infrastructure, transportation links, marketing and
programmes to improve social inclusion.

- the UK continues to make efforts to host world class Motorsport
events like the Formula One world championship, the World Rally
Championship, and the World Superbike championship

- the talent of those on the frontline of Motorsport, from drivers to
officials, be improved. This should be helped through a national
programme of training and development initiatives

- a Motorsport Academy be created to improve the skills of the
industry, which will link with the recently announced Automotive
Academy. Focus on co-ordinating and maintaining quality across all
Motorsport educational courses

- high technology advances from the Motorsport industry should be
transferred into other areas.

- energy efficiency within Motorsport should be encouraged to
accelerate the development of alternative fuel technology.

- existing tax laws are reviewed to help ensure the industry and
sport can be as competitive as possible

- an RDA led Government Motorsport Unit should be formed to
co-ordinate available government resources towards the Motorsport
cluster

Patricia Hewitt said:

"UK Motorsport has always been the jewel in the crown of the British
automotive industry. It is unique in scale and scope and has grown
rapidly over the last ten years. However, in a fiercely competitive
market we cannot afford to be complacent.

"The industry`s high tech, high value, high skills base is exactly
where the future of British manufacturing lies. It is crucial that
this industry, which produces some of the most cutting edge products
in the world, has the backing to innovate and move forward with
confidence.

"I am particularly keen to back the industry because the powerful
brand of Motorsport can excite people to pursue careers in high
skilled industries such as engineering and electronics."

Patricia Hewitt added:

"I welcome input from all members of the Motorsport community, who
were not directly involved in the workings of the panel, over the
coming weeks. Following this process, the forthcoming Motorsport
Development Board, comprising of representatives from Industry and
Sport, will be tasked with implementing these recommendations."

Paul Barron, Co-Chair of the UK competitiveness panel, said:

"The Panel which I co-chaired, supported by its four Working Groups,
brought together key stakeholders from Motorsport and related
engineering and educational sectors. The Panel`s recommendations are
designed to help UK Motorsport to sustain and develop a thriving
sport and a thriving industry. I am delighted that government has
agreed to support the implementation of these recommendations which I
believe will help retain Britain`s position as a world leader in
Motorsport."

David Richards, Chairman of Prodrive and member of the panel, said:

"The British Motorsport industry is a prime example of the inherent
world class skills that this country is famous for. Until now though,
its success has relied upon the efforts of relatively few
entrepreneurs and enthusiasts. I am therefore delighted that the
Government has recognised its importance and is putting in place a
range of excellent initiatives which will ensure the industry
continues to flourish."