New partnership puts British business in pole position
12 Mar 2014
The partnership, led by DFT Limited and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) will celebrate the UK’s automotive and motorsport heritage and provide an opportunity to raise awareness of the ‘Business is GREAT’ campaign through a series of networking events across the country. The campaign, which was launched in autumn 2013, is designed to build confidence amongst businesses with the aim of helping employers with their plans to grow, hire, export and find funding.
The MG6 touring car has been adapted for the competition by Triple Eight Racing Engineering Limited, a company with a long history of designing, building and racing cars in the BTCC. The company has grown and supported an Apprenticeship programme for a number of years and the current intake worked on the car during the construction stages and will continue to support through servicing and maintenance.
DFT Limited was set up as a racing team with a key objective of supporting and promoting great British businesses. Companies Quantel and Bifold epitomize this aim and are headline sponsors for the project. Quantel, a high-end visual effects and editing systems manufacturer based in Newbury, is an example of a small business doing great things with eight international offices and an export around the world which accounts for 80-90% of its revenue. With 230 staff, its turnover and revenue is growing year on year. Bifold, a leading manufacturer of switching instrument valves and pumps for the oil and gas sector has offices in Taunton and Manchester. Since switching to new way of manufacturing appropriate to web based transactions in 2002, Bifold has grown 50% year on year and is now employing 260 staff.
Driver Marc Hynes, former British Formula 3 champion, will return to racing after a five year absence to drive the campaign race car.
He commented: “I’ve spent my life racing and working in the motorsport industry from grass roots to Formula One. Entering the BTCC with DFT Limited, Triple 888 and our Partners is a new chapter in my driving career and I can’t wait to get started. We have a highly motivated, talented group of people and Partners from different sectors of British business. The partnership with BIS aims to champion British business, which is something our team is passionate about – our team is the best of British and this is the ethos of the GREAT campaign. The sponsors have made this project a reality and the team can’t wait for the first race to see the hard work pay off.”
The UK automotive industry turnover in 2013 exceeded £60 billion, an all-time record, and was up 9% on 2012. The sector expects to take on more than 7,600 apprentices and 1,700 graduates in the next five years. There are more than 40 companies manufacturing vehicles in the UK as well as a world class automotive design engineering sector. Additionally, the UK motorsport industry, with a couple of exceptions such as Williams & McLaren, is made up almost entirely of SMEs. Eight out of the 11 Formula 1 racing teams are based in the UK and the sector is worth £9bn to the UK economy.
Minister for Skills and Enterprise, Matt Hancock Said: “I am really excited about this partnership with Quantel Bifold Racing and the Business is GREAT Campaign, to celebrate the best of the British Touring Car Championship and the contribution it makes and also the apprentices in the industry who get such an exciting start to their careers. It is a great partnership and I am absolutely delighted that this is launching in National Apprenticeship Week when we celebrate apprenticeships across the country and particularly in this industry and in engineering which is so important to the future.”
The British Touring Car Championship is an annual fixture and has been entertaining motorsports fans since 1958. The races have a strong following, with each event attracting an audience of over 35,000 and television viewing figures of 20.5 million. This grass roots following provides an audience of many small business owners around the country at the 10 races in the annual calendar.
To coincide with the racing calendar, a series of business networking events will take place to allow SMEs to find out more information on the support available to grow and export. The events will be supported by LDC, the leading UK mid market private equity investor, whose investments in UK businesses over the past five years has passed £1.5bn. The race event will provide a recreational backdrop to extend networking opportunities and bring together businesses with a common ambition.
The team will launch the car at an event at the Horse Guards Parade Ground, London, on 7th March. There will be a Q&A session with driver Marc Hynes about the season ahead and a showreel produced by Quantel featuring recent car testing in Spain.
In addition the launch event will be supported by LDC, a significant investor in UK mid market businesses, and their Chief Executive, Darryl Eales, will outline his thoughts on entrepreneurial business driving growth in the UK.
Other sponsors include Promold International, Cox Wokingham Plastics, Process Systems International Limited, Angus Fire, Chow, Clifford Thames and Intercontinental Brands Limited
The ‘Business is GREAT’ campaign (www.greatbusiness.gov.uk) offers information, guidance and support for businesses to take the next step in their growth journey.