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Problems at Silverstone?

NEWS STORY
21/10/2014

Three directors at Silverstone, including managing director Richard Phillips, have been suspended and placed on "gardening leave".

The three, Phillips, Finance Director Ed Brookes and Legal and Estates Director David Thomson, are said to have been "escorted from the premises" on Friday morning according to a Pitpass source.

"I am pleased to inform you that the BRDC Board has today initiated a process of restructuring of the Silverstone Circuits (SCL) organisation to help secure a stable future for the Circuit, the British Grand Prix and our Club," said chairman John Grant in a statement. "As you are aware, following termination of the sale of SCL almost 6 months ago, your Board decided to adopt a more hands-on approach to the running of SCL, with the Silverstone Holdings Board disbanded in May and Lawrence Tomlinson and I being appointed Joint Interim Chief Executives of SCL last month. With the lease of our development land and industrial estate to MEPC a year ago, the business is now smaller and the structure needs to be resized and realigned to reflect our concentration on circuit activities. This will enable us to improve efficiency, increase revenues and create a more profitable business for the long term.

"We expect minimal disruption to the business and intend to keep personnel changes to the minimum. However, given the changing needs of the business, we expect to restructure to provide a more operational and customer-oriented organisation. To this end, we have today initiated a process of consultation on a number of potential changes within senior management positions. Coincident with this, Managing Director Richard Phillips, Finance Director Ed Brookes and Legal and Estates Director David Thomson have been suspended on full pay.

"Lawrence and I will continue to work as Joint Chief Executives of SCL to ensure a smooth transition, with the continuing support of Patrick Allen who is assisting with the development of our customer proposition.

"While he must await the outcome of the consultation process before providing any further details, please be assured that I will keep you updated as the restructuring programme progresses."

Our source, described the current situation as a "hornet's nest", and while unwilling to give much else away admitted having failed to find a partner (or buyer) and having spent £30m on The Wing, what many still feel was a vanity project - and no longer receiving the sort of income, including rents, it used to, the need to raise money has become a serious issue.

Leading the quest to put the circuit on a more secure footing is British businessman, and racer, Tomlinson, who in 2013 became Serial Entrepreneur in Residence at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

Chris Balfe

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by miss d'it, 21/10/2014 10:10

"A night of the long wheel braces

Here's hoping whatever changes are being made, are done correctly and don't lead to protracted wrangling and up costing suitcases of compensation, which they can ill afford"

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2. Posted by Chris Balfe (editor), 21/10/2014 8:50

"@ Dreadnaught

Bernie called for improved pit and paddock, he didn't call for The Wing.

Nor can he be blamed for certain management decisions that have almost torn the BRDC apart and culminated in the current mess."

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3. Posted by Dreadnaught, 21/10/2014 8:46

"How sad it would be were Silverstone to join the other third world projects that have foundered as a result of a certain man's seductive urgings."

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