Norfolk motor sport jobs boost

A Norfolk town has signalled itself as an emerging new motor sport hub after becoming home to an up-and-coming British racing team.

It is more known for its food processing and manufacturing industries than its thirst for supercharged racing cars.

But a Norfolk town has signalled itself as an emerging new motor sport hub after becoming home to an up-and-coming British racing team.

Advent Motorsport, which was previously based near the prestigious Brands Hatch circuit in Kent, recently relocated to Thetford to take advantage of the area's growing reputation as part of the Rural Enterprise Valley (REV).

Company bosses yesterday praised the town's central geographic location, decent road links, and proximity to the expanding Snetterton circuit, which will herald an influx of other racing teams in the future.

The relocation of Advent Motorsport, which has experienced success in a number of four-wheeled British championships, follows support from Breckland Council's REV project, which is working to develop the advanced engineering and motor sport sectors along the A11 corridor.

The company's team manager, Andrew Crighton , who was yesterday overseeing his cars and drivers in Belgium, said moving to Thetford made more economic sense in terms of rental and transport costs. He added that congestion problems on the last single carriageway stretch of the A11 were “not an off putting factor”.

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“In the south east, near Brands Hatch, the traffic is such a pain that it costs so much time and money sitting in traffic jams,” he said. “We wanted something a bit more centrally located in the country and somewhere near Snetterton is a great opportunity and makes it much easier.

“Of course when you get towards the bank holiday and the traffic is tailed back from Mildenhall to Thetford, the A11 will be a nightmare, but the glimmer of hope that the Elveden stretch will be dualled was looming in our mind when we made the decision, which I think will encourage others to come,” he said.

Mr Crighton added that the motor sport expertise of other nearby racing teams like Lotus, Van Diemen, and Supernova, the £3,000 relocation grant from the REV Project, and logistics and tyre supplier support in Thetford made the move all the more appealing.

Advent Motorsport, which was established in 2000, is a big name in the Seat Cupra Championship, T-Cars, Mini Challenge and Caterham Series. They also cater for the expanding corporate market and give full race tuition by approved instructors, employ eight people, and have a turnover in the region of £300,000 a year.

“Because it is more affordable to be at Thetford, it gives us more scope to re-plan what we want to do in the future and gives us the opportunity to expand, which is very exciting,” Mr Crighton added.

Alistair Rhind, project manager of the £6.3m REV scheme, said the relocation of a Brands Hatch business was a “feather in the cap” for the area and proved that the A11 corridor was a more attractive proposition for motor sport businesses.

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