Page last updated at 18:37 GMT, Tuesday, 28 April 2009 19:37 UK

Grand Prix loss could cost 100m

British Grand Prix
Donington Park remains confident it will be able to host the 2010 British GP

The East Midlands Development Agency (Emda) has said the region could miss out on up to £100m if Donington Park loses rights to the British Grand Prix.

Donington Ventures Ltd could lose the chance to stage the Grand Prix from 2010 after a legal argument arose over £2.47m in track rent arrears.

In addition, North West Leicestershire District Council is reviewing planning permission over safety concerns.

Emda's David Wallace said a move to Donington would be "huge" for the area.

Permission was granted in January for a £100m revamp of the circuit, including a new pit and paddock complex and extension to the track, subject to a Section 106 agreement which was due to be completed by the end of March.

Getting an investment like this off the ground is never going to be easy, particularly in the current economic climate

David Wallace, Emda

The Section 106 covers safety and environmental issues, travel and transportation plans and monitoring fees.

North West Leicestershire District Council has said it has concerns conditions will not be met in time.

In another blow to the plans, on 23 April it was revealed that legal proceedings had been issued against Donington Ventures Leisure Ltd, who lease the track from Wheatcroft and Son Ltd.

The proceedings relate to more than £2.47m in rent arrears dating back to September 2008.

'Huge' potential

Mr Wallace said: "Getting an investment like this off the ground is never going to be easy, particularly in the current economic climate but Donington Ventures have always been confident they would be able to raise the finance to make the Grand Prix happen.

"This could be huge for the region, it could mean as much as £100m for the regional economy over the next 10 years.

"The way Donington Ventures has planned the traffic management, there will be opportunities for local B&Bs and hotels.

"We are particularly trying to encourage staying visitors - overnight or the whole weekend."

A Donington Park spokesman said "all the conditions will be met" and it was "still confident that the Grand Prix will take place".

The circuit has a 10-year contract to host the race, starting in 2010.

North West Leicestershire District Council is due to discuss its planning decision in regard to Donington Park on 5 May.

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