Editor’s Note: Roadracingworld.com reached out to Stuart Higgs of Motor Sport Vision (MSV), which runs the British Superbike Championship, to ask if any type of emergency financial support is available to motorcycle racing in the UK. Higgs told reporter Michael Gougis that MSV as well as the ACU (the British equivalent of the AMA here in the USA) are both shut down by government order. Here in the United States, race promoting organizations, tracks, and individual professional racers impacted by the government shutting down racing, can apply for various government aide programs detailed previously on Roadracingworld.com.
The following is a press release issued by Motorsport UK.
Motorsport UK, the national governing body of four-wheel motorsport, today announced a £1 million funding package to help its clubs address the financial consequences of COVID-19.
The funding is one of a number of measures that it is implementing to offset the economic impact that the global pandemic has wrought across the sport.
In order to help protect the NHS and save lives, Motorsport UK has suspended all event permits until 30 June. This suspension is subject to a rolling review to enable the sport to resume as soon as is practicable.
Motorsport UK typically issues around 4,500 event permits per annum, across all forms of motorsport in the UK. Although circuit racing enjoys the highest profile, there are a broad range of other motorsport disciplines enjoyed by more than 40,000 licence holders across karting, speed, trials, cross-country, rally, autocross, rallycross, drag racing and autotest events. Many of these grassroots, low cost motorsport activities can be undertaken in standard or lightly modified road cars and by enthusiasts funding their sport from their own pocket.
Motorsport UK is setting aside the £1 million of funding to support its 720 member clubs, responsible for organising and promoting motorsport at all levels in the UK. The aim is to mitigate immediate financial risk and help to aid recovery towards a strong and sustainable future.
There are some 40,000 people working in the motorsport industry in the UK, and they are predominantly self-employed or working for small organisations, with combined revenues of £10 billion per annum. The suspension of all motorsport has an immediate and detrimental effect on the workforce, and the government has acted to begin to provide support in this area. At the same time the burden has firmly fallen on the event organising clubs and championship organisers many of whom have no recourse to government aid.
In recognition of the considerable hardship placed on its member clubs, the Motorsport UK Board has agreed to allocate £1 million of direct funding to support the community. This investment will be used to create two funds, each valued at £500,000, to provide loan and grant support to Motorsport UK clubs through this challenging period.
A Motorsport UK panel will review each application and decide the amount to be awarded and the funding mechanism.
Applicants may receive funding from the Motorsport UK Club Continuity Loan Fund or The Motorsport UK Club Continuity Grant Fund.
The Continuity Funds have been created to support clubs who are most at risk due to the pandemic. Such clubs may be awarded funding from either stream up to a grant value of £10,000 or a maximum loan value of £25,000.
Clubs are expected to use all government guidance and support available to them before considering applying for the funds.
The Motorsport UK Club Continuity Funds should be a last resort for clubs who are able to demonstrate that after taking all reasonable steps and without a level of intervention, they will struggle to resume activities as a direct result of COVID-19.
Motorsport UK has taken measures to protect its own financial position at this time including furloughing one third of its staff, freezing all discretionary spend, suspending investment in capital expenditure projects, reducing staff pay and cutting working hours across the organisation for the duration of this period.
David Richards, chairman of Motorsport UK, said, “These are unprecedented times for the nation and for motorsport. Our community looks to us to provide leadership and help protect motorsport from the financial fallout of this pandemic. We have taken measures to reduce the overheads of the core organisation, while continuing to provide the essential levels of service to the sport. Today we have launched a series of financial measures that member clubs can access, in order to try and mitigate some of the hardship they are inevitably suffering.
“During this time, there is a spirit that we are all in this together, and it is only right that Motorsport UK takes practical measures to reduce expenditure, while launching these funds to preserve those responsible for organising events, without whom there can be no motorsport. We are custodians of motorsport in the UK and have a responsibility to our clubs, to do all that we realistically can, to sustain their operations at this uniquely challenging time.”