Image above shows His Royal Highness Prince Harry with Silverstone Experience CEO Sally Reynolds
Silverstone Park has welcomed the start of The Silverstone Experience Centre (TSE) project – officially launched this week by its Royal Patron, His Royal Highness Prince Harry – for its support in encouraging young people to enter careers in high tech engineering.
While showcasing the heritage of the neighbouring Silverstone Circuit, the £19.3 million Experience Centre will also aim to inspire high performance engineers of the future and is already working with the Silverstone University Technical College to further this initiative.
During his visit, HRH Prince Harry attended the UTC to learn about its engineering courses and also met with past and present students – many of whom have found full-time work or been granted apprenticeships within the UK’s thriving motorsport industry.
Close to 3,500 high tech companies are located in the Silverstone Technology Cluster – the region within an hour’s drive time of Silverstone. Many have roots in motorsport but their capabilities are enabling them to successfully diversify into other areas such as aerospace, automotive, defence, marine, medical devices, electronics and software. The STC has been recognised by government as having ‘latent potential’.
Silverstone Park, a 130-acre business estate with 2 million sq ft of planning consent, sits right at the heart of the STC. It is also located right next to Silverstone Circuit and now the Experience Centre and, under MEPC’s development, has become recognised as a global destination for innovation, business development and engineering.
MEPC’s Roz Bird, Commercial Director at Silverstone Park, commented: “It is terrific that HRH Prince Harry visited Silverstone and met, in his words, the ‘enthusiastic young people’ currently studying at Silverstone UTC – the world class capabilities of the Silverstone Technology Cluster will only continue if young people are enthused and given the opportunities to achieve the right skills.
“His visit is also an endorsement of the area, its world class facilities and Silverstone’s on-going growth and success.
“The skills agenda is very much a priority for our development of Silverstone Park and the success of students at both the UTC and the National College for Motorsport here on site is to be celebrated.
“We are therefore hugely supportive of the work being done by the Silverstone Experience in its support of young people in high tech engineering and also congratulate its CEO Sally Reynolds and her excellent team for the work they have put in to make the project happen. They are great to work with and we have no doubt that they will ensure the Experience adds to Silverstone’s global success story.”
The Silverstone Experience Centre, funded in part by a £9.1m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, is due to open in spring 2019.
Speaking during HRH Prince Harry’s visit, Sally Reynolds, CEO of The Silverstone Experience said: “After many years of planning and preparation, today marks a key milestone in making the project a reality. At the end of last year we successfully concluded the public tender process and appointed Shaylor Group as our main contractor to carry out the hangar restoration and building work. We are delighted to welcome our Royal Patron Prince Harry to The Silverstone Experience to mark the start of this construction programme.”