Members of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Motorsport have praised the Government for taking the decision to include the Goodwood Festival of Speed and the British Grand Prix on the list of pilot events as lockdown eases.
The Group, formed in early 2020 with the sole aim of supporting motorsport, welcomes members of all parties from both Houses of Parliament. In recent weeks, they have worked closely with Ministers to ensure motorsport in all its various guises can return from lockdown as quickly and safely as possible.
Co-Chair of the APPG, Bracknell MP and long-time competition licence holder, James Sunderland said:
“Quite rightly, decisions that have potential impact on public safety need to be considered carefully, and I am aware that neither the Goodwood Festival of Speed nor the British Grand Prix were concrete fixtures on the list of authorised pilot events when it was first put together.
“I am thankful to Lord Chancellor Michael Gove at the Cabinet Office, Secretary of State Oliver Dowden and Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston for taking the time to hear our case for both the Festival of Speed and the British Grand Prix. These are flagship global events enjoyed by millions worldwide, whether live or on TV, and I am pleased we were able to ensure that the best of British could take place safely.”
APPG Co-Chair Greg Smith MP said:
“As the MP for the southern half of Silverstone Circuit, it is outstanding news that the 2021 British Grand Prix will be taking place with a capacity crowd this year.
“Alongside colleagues in Parliament I have had regular discussions with Ministers to make the case for the Grand Prix being able to go ahead. Silverstone sits in the heart of motorsport valley, which supports some 40,000 British jobs - and the Grand Prix itself is the UKs largest annual sporting event, contributing over £100 million to the local economy alone over the race weekend. Motorsport is a truly British success story and it is vital we continue to do everything possible for it to flourish further.”
Paying tribute to the work of the APPG, Sports Minister Huddleston MP said
“Thank you for your effective lobbying: This was pivotal". Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport, the Rt Hon Oliver Dowden MP added, “I'm pleased to announce that Silverstone will be able to welcome fans back for the pinnacle of British motorsport. Through our successful vaccine rollout and ambitious Events Research Programme, we are continuing to make progress and events like this will pave the way for everyone to enjoy live sport and culture together safely once more.
“I am grateful to the Motorsports APPG for working so hard on behalf of the British Grand Prix and for further reassuring officials that this was the right decision.”
Minister for the Cabinet Office, Rt Hon Michael Gove MP said
“Thank you to James Sunderland and the Motorsports APPG for coming to see me and for ably representing the interests of the British GP and Goodwood Festival of Speed.”
As the Government now looks beyond the transition to Step 4 and the final easing of restrictions on 19th July, it is hoped that all forms of motorsport will be able to return to normal. The APPG wishes all organisers and competitors every success.