Honda's decision to base its European racing operation in Milton Keynes from June 2014 has been welcomed by business secretary Vince Cable and the Motorsport Industry Association (MIA).
After announcing a deal to team up with Mclaren F1 from the 2015 season, its new facility within the R&D centre in Mugen Euro will be the European frontline operation for Honda’s Formula One participation.
Additionally, it will also serve as a base for World Touring Car Championship (WTCC), where it will rebuild and maintain the power units being developed at Honda R&D centre in Tochigi, Japan, and also base its trackside support operations.
Secretary of State for Business, Rt. Hon. Vince Cable said: “We very much welcome Honda’s announcement, which follows hard on the heels of the launch of the automotive industrial strategy. The strategy underlines the Government’s commitment to work with world-class companies and organisations, including those in motorsport.
Dr Cable added: “The decision by Honda emphasises the importance of the UK’s Motorsport Valley as a world renowned centre of excellence for technological innovation and product development.”
Chris Aylett, CEO of the MIA said the announcement provides a big boost for the UK motorsport industry.
“This is marvellous news for the UK motorsport industry, which could not have come at a more appropriate time, following so closely the launch of the UK Automotive Strategy and the announcement of plans for joint Government and industry investment of £1 billion in an Advanced Propulsion Centre by Business Secretary Vince Cable at Goodwood last week,” he said.
“The move will see UK engineers employed, investment in premises and operations and valuable new business growth for UK suppliers. The UK automotive strategy, created from input from MIA members and the wider industry, is on the right path and is sure to attract more investment and jobs to the UK in ‘advanced propulsion’ activity.”