The boss of Rockingham Motor Speedway says that the site in Corby will become one of the UK’s largest automotive hubs, creating 200 jobs for the town.
Speaking exclusively to the Northants Telegraph for the first time since the closure of the racing track was announced last week, the team at Rockingham said that continuing with motorsport would not have made economic sense for the new owners, Rockingham Automotive LLP (RAL).
RAL is a UK investment partnership funded by Jersey-based investors who plan to build on Rockingham’s motoring credentials by creating a logistics hub where its occupiers provide a range of de-fleet, remarketing, refurbishment and storage services for the automotive industry.
About 100,000 square feet of vehicle processing facilities will be based across the 250-acre site in Mitchell Road.
Peter Hardman, current CEO at Rockingham, said: “The team at Rockingham have done a tremendous job running the circuit and the facility over the last five years. However, it has been reluctantly concluded that motorsport activities are unlikely to produce an economic return for the new owners when set against the acquisition cost of the land.
“All events to the end of 2018 will be run with the professionalism and enthusiasm that are the hallmark of Rockingham, but circuit activities will cease from the beginning of 2019.
“RAL is in discussion with the two local authorities, Corby Borough Council and East Northants District Council on the future development of Rockingham.”
From 2019, Rockingham is set to become one of the largest automotive facilities in the UK. The refocus will create new jobs across management, sales, administration, HR, technology and finance. Significant investment over the next three years will redevelop and extend the facilities to store, prepare, de-fleet and remarket a greater volume of vehicles.
Currently Rockingham is home to a number of leading automotive logistics companies including Groupe CAT, GEFCO and City Auction Group.
These companies provide a range of used vehicle support services to car manufacturers, dealer groups, rental, fleet operators and leasing and finance companies. Closure of the circuit will free up much needed land to further develop Rockingham as a world-class automotive facility, with the capacity to process over 20,000 vehicles on site, at any one time.
Michael Tomalin, Managing Director of City Auction Group, which operates car auctions at Rockingham said: “We are very excited about the future of CAG at Rockingham. We have plans to invest heavily in new facilities to provide market-leading de-fleet and external operational services, alongside remarketing events.
“Our ethos is to provide corporate clients with the full portfolio of de-fleet and remarketing at one major facility. We can provide vehicles by instruction direct to the franchised dealer network either online to select options by timed or ‘buy and bid now’ method, or via our physical open auction event, supported by live online activity.
“Our partnership with Groupe CAT UK, an award-winning provider of automotive logistics services who are also based at Rockingham, will supply us with specialist finished vehicle logistics for all our passenger cars and LCVs. We take great pride in the quality of vehicles we offer and this new partnership will enable us to strengthen our position as ‘best in class’.
“We work closely with manufacturers, leasing companies, financial institutions and daily rental organisations to improve and develop our services and the redevelopment of Rockingham as a major vehicle logistics hub will help to accelerate our growth.”