A review of the UK Motorsport Valley business cluster has reported continuous growth every year to reach revenues of £9bn, ensuring the highest sales level in its history.
Business minister Michael Fallon unveiled the review at the annual Autosport International Show at Birmingham’s NEC, commissioned by the Motorsport Industry Association (MIA).
The report, also supported by the industry, The Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) and UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), showed an increase from the last report in 2003, where revenues hit £4.5bn.
High level R&D investment, with many firms spending more than 25% of annual turnover and benefiting from R&D tax credits, was cited as a reason for the growth, as well as highly skilled employees and exports, with nearly 90% of the companies selling overseas.
Mr Fallon also confirmed the government is to invest £1bn jointly with industry to develop future technologies for a sector containing 4,500 companies and employing 38,500 people.
“Our motorsport industry represents some of the best of British talent and ingenuity and it is imperative that we provide the right conditions so it continues to thrive,” he said.
“That is why we are investing £1bn jointly with industry to ensure companies across the automotive sector have the support they need to develop the technologies of the future.”
Eight of the 11 Formula One teams currently operate at Motorsport Valley as their primary location employing more than 5,000 people and delivering £2bn in revenues annually.
“At last, the expertise of these companies is being more widely recognised and valued by other industries.“
An increasing number of companies reported success from offering race-hardened capability and expertise to adjacent sectors, particularly with energy efficient, low carbon solutions.
CEO of the MIA Chris Aylett, who praised the level of assistance from the coalition government since 2010, said the industry was now getting the recognition it deserved.
“British motorsport companies are proven world champions. Highly-publicised victories on race tracks around the world are a strong promotion for this ‘jewel in the crown’ of UK advanced engineering,” he said.
Mr Aylett, who set up the body in 1994 to aid the sector, added: “At last, the expertise of these companies is being more widely recognised and valued by other industries. Every race or rally is won by the team which uses its energy resource most efficiently, and now this capability is bringing new business to this sector.”