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Page last updated at 14:18 GMT, Tuesday, 22 June 2010 15:18 UK
Silverstone in Buckinghamshire?
A sign saying Silverstone is in Buckinghamshire

400 people have joined a Facebook group condemning Buckinghamshire for claiming Silverstone on a road sign.

The sign reads "Welcome to Buckinghamshire - Home of Silverstone Circuit," and is sited near the track.

Although half the circuit is in Buckinghamshire, the group's creator, Helen Franks, says the sign is "a cheek."

But, the tourism body Northamptonshire Enterprises Ltd says the track's economic benefits are what matters.

The big green sign

Helen first saw the sign in April. "I passed the sign and couldn't believe it! How can they claim it to be theirs when it's ours," said Helen.

The road sign is at the main entrance of the Silverstone circuit and has to be passed to gain entry onto the site.

"I thought what a cheek! I can't recall any Northamptonshire signs anywhere saying Welcome to Northamptonshire, Home of Silverstone Circuit," she said.

Tim Bagshaw, Head of Investment at Northamptonshire Enterprise Limited, said changing Northamptonshire's signs could be a possibility.

"That's something we can certainly look at, but we do a huge amount of work with the circuit to promote Northamptonshire and its high performance engineering strengths. Most people are very clear it's part of Northamptonshire," said Tim.

Buckinghamshire is unrepentant about the sign, which was put up more than two years ago.

"We're a bit taken aback as to why this has caught everyone's attention now. The address of Silverstone is Northamptonshire, but Silverstone itself spans two counties," said Sian Thomas from Transport for Buckinghamshire.

Northamptonshire has put more money into Silverstone and that reflects the fact that most of the motorsport engineering businesses have their headquarters in Northamptonshire.

However, Bucks County Council and Aylesbury Vale District Council have been helping in a different ways.

"Aylesbury Vale were fundamental in getting permission through for the extension of Silverstone," said Sian.

Facebook Campaign

Some of the members of Helen's Facebook group have been calling for Northamptonshire to erect an even bigger sign in front of Buckinghamshire's.

Buckinghamshire County Council says it has no intention of removing or changing the sign.

Helen Franks, creator of the Facebook group, says she doesn't want any animosity to get out of hand.

"I don't condone any permanent defacing of the sign. It's not intended to cause any nastiness between Northants and Bucks. Also my sister lives in Bucks so I may still need to cross the border!" she said.

The debate continues.




SEE ALSO
MotoGP returns to Silverstone
21 Jun 10 |  Northamptonshire
In pictures: Silverstone MotoGP
20 Jun 10 |  People & Places
Lorenzo hails Silverstone changes
18 Jun 10 |  MotoGP
Silverstone adopts new F1 layout
11 Feb 10 |  Formula 1


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