Page last updated at 11:49 GMT, Saturday, 24 October 2009 12:49 UK

Firms fear loss of F1 Grand Prix

EPM Technology
Formula One supports a host of other industries and businesses

The business community near Donington Park is bracing itself for the loss of millions in earnings if the British Grand Prix is not secured at the venue.

The track's operators have failed to raise £135m to upgrade facilities and face a Monday deadline to come up with another plan for Formula One bosses.

Engineering, construction and hospitality firms had all hoped to benefit from F1 coming to the area.

Business leaders said they were "hugely disappointed" at the situation.

When it was announced that Donington had won the right to host the British Grand Prix in July 2008, it was seen as a huge boost for the East Midlands and an opportunity for hundreds of businesses.

Crucial moment

But since then the track's operators, Donington Ventures Leisure Ltd, have missed a series of deadlines to prove they have the financial backing to see the project through.

EPM Technology in Draycott, Derbyshire, builds parts for Formula One cars and its boss, Graham Mulholland, said there were no second chances in the sport.

"It is like being in a cup final and it has gone to penalties - you have got to score.

"We are only as good as our last delivery. If we let any of our customers down, we would lose a customer, it is as simple as that.

"There is no point any of our customers going racing with parts missing, so the whole infrastructure of Formula One, from Bernie [Ecclestone] down, survives on it being one go."

Continued support

George Cowcher of the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce admitted the area had suffered a blow.

"It is a disappointment. It was a huge opportunity for Donington and for the wider counties, and for that not to go ahead means we miss that opportunity."

North West Leicestershire District Council was the planning authority which oversaw the project.

In a statement it said: "We have worked hard with Simon Gillett and his team to bring the British Grand Prix to Donington.

"We like others await further information about the hosting of the Grand Prix.

"We have done everything we can to bring the Grand Prix to Donington and will continue to do so."

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