Documents accessed by The Financial Times apparently provide evidence that JLR requested a valuation from property consultant Cushman & Wakefield in relation to Silverstone. Drawn up during July, the proposal currently being considered would allow Silverstone to become the new home of JLR, including a heritage centre to exhibit vehicles from JLR’s fleet - alongside offices for up to 1000 employees, an extensive visitor centre and a hotel.
The property consultant has advised that, with potential for sizeable development and considerable industrial space, the market value of Silverstone is £22.7 million. Within a separate memo, JLR is apparently looking at a figure up to more than twice that, although it hasn’t been made clear if JLR’s budget of £52 million relates to Silverstone itself.
The current lease owner, the British Racing Drivers Club (BRDC), would become tenant of the circuit while Silverstone Circuits Ltd - a subsidiary of the lease owner - would run Silverstone on Jaguar Land Rover’s behalf.
Responding to the query, a spokesperson from Jaguar Land Rover said the company was looking to ‘invest and grow its business operations in the UK.’
‘We constantly evaluate a wide range of opportunities which are confidiental. We have no further comment on this matter’. Cushman & Wakefield has not commented on the proposals.
First hosting the British Grand Prix during 1948, Silverstone’s recent history has been largely troubled, with substantial losses resulting in a struggle to pay its annual Grand Prix fees totalling £16 million. Mr. Ecclestone, chief executive of the F1 management company, has attracted criticism stating as recently as October that the fee for Silverstone would not be cut.
This wouldn’t be Jaguar’s first appearance at Silverstone, with an F1 team operating between 2000 and 2004, while Tata, the parent company to JLR, has previously sponsored the Ferrari F1 team.
The sale of Silverstone has been broadcast previously, but plans were shelved during 2014, as the sale cannot pass without consultation with affiliates of the BRDC - currently exceeding 800 members.