Study shows Midlands' £9 billion 'Motorsport Valley' continues to thrive

Study shows Midlands' £9 billion 'Motorsport Valley' continues to thrive

The motorsport industry in Britain continues to thrive, according to the study. Photo credit: ALEX ROACHE

Research news / Business news

Friday 17 January 2014

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A Coventry University academic has played a leading role in a new study showing how the UK's 'Motorsport Valley' business cluster has made a strong bounceback since the recession.

The study, which was commissioned by the Stoneleigh-based Motorsport Industry Association (MIA), saw Dr Nick Henry from the University's Applied Research Centre in Sustainable Regeneration (SURGE) team up with Motorsport Research Associates and Cranfield School of Management to assess the strength of the sector.

According to the review, the cluster – which comprises high-performance engineering firms concentrated in an area of the Midlands and outer south east nicknamed 'Motorsport Valley' – has enjoyed sustained growth since 2009 and achieved an all-time high annual turnover of £9 billion in 2012, employing 41,000 people in the supply of world-class engineering products and motorsport services.

While UK-based Formula One teams are the pinnacle of success in the sector, an analysis of the top motorsport companies beyond the F1 teams – amongst which are Coventry-based manufacturing outfits AP Racing and Lifeline Fire & Safety Systems – also shows significant growth to surpass the turnover position held in 2006.

Dr Nick Henry, senior research fellow for SURGE at Coventry University, said:

The study is good news for the motorsport sector in Great Britain and, in particular, for the high-performance engineering industry in the Midlands.

There's a reason this area of the country has been called the 'jewel in the crown' of advanced manufacturing in the UK, and it goes well beyond F1. We have many smaller motorsport and engineering companies – not to mention our universities – innovating and driving growth in the regional economy, so it's a promising picture for the future.

Chris Aylett, CEO of the MIA, added:

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. 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.

The '2013 Review of the UK Motorsport Valley business cluster' was backed by the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) and UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) and is now available online from

Notes to editors

About the MIA

The Motorsport Industry Association (MIA) is the world's leading trade association for motorsports and high performance engineering services sectors and represents the specialised needs of a highly successful industry which, although extending throughout the world and rapidly expanding in the developing nations, is centred here in the UK.

The MIA membership displays a wide demographic spread, including; motorsport and performance engineering companies, race and rally teams, governing bodies, motorsport services, research organisations, race circuits and universities and colleges.


The Applied Research Centre for Sustainable Regeneration (SURGE) at Coventry University provides high quality evidence-based applied research, consultancy, education and training services, informing policy and practice and supporting business and society to achieve sustainable regeneration through economic and social development.