In the arena of innovation, location is crucial. This is why, at Preston we are based on the hotbed of Motorsports Innovation- the aptly named Motorsports Valley.
Similar to what the Silicon Valley is for technology companies, the Motorsports valley is the area that most developments of motorsports take place. The numbers are staggering: 8 out of the 11 F1 teams are based in the area along with another approximately 3,500 companies, all working in the field of Motorsports. This provides jobs for 40,000 people, including 25,000 engineers- which corresponds to 80% of all high-performance car engineers. The Valley generates an annual turnover of over £5Bn, 50% of which from exports, and is arguably what keeps Britain in the lead in racing.
The history behind the Valley originates in the WW2, after which a number of airfields located in the area, where no longer needed. In addition, there was a large number of professionals, such as aircraft engineers and suppliers close by, whose skills were very useful in the emerging field of Formula and high-performance cars. The airfields became racetracks where the new cars could be tested and big names, such as McLaren and Lotus, set shop there.
This has generated a booming ecosystem of racetrack innovation, where over 30% of engineering sales are re-invested in R&D; double than in pharmaceutical companies. This is also supported by the UK government, who has offered supportive R&D tax credit schemes and UK Trade & Investment facilitation. In practical terms, it means that an experienced supply chain hub is there to support companies from development to testing, with quick deliveries and last-minute calls. Moreover, new technology is developed and spun-off constantly, often kept under wraps as long as possible to surprise the competition.
Therefore, from discovering the latest tech, to testing the car and getting the supplies and talent required to make a race team successful, the Motorsports Valley is the place to be.