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Wheatcrofts and Gillett resolve legal dispute

NEWS STORY
05/06/2009

The Wheatcroft family, which owns Donington Park Circuit, has reached an out-of-court settlement with Simon Gillett over the 2.5m in unpaid rent which threatened the future of the British Grand Prix.

The Wheatcrofts, whose consent is needed for the necessary planning permission to go ahead if the circuit is to be modified in line with FOM's requirements, instituted legal proceedings in April over the money.

However, today, just days before the case was due to be heard in court, the Wheatcrofts and Gillett issued a joint statement announcing that a (confidential) agreement had been reached.

"Wheatcroft and Son Limited, and circuit leaseholder, Donington Ventures Leisure Limited (DVLL), confirmed that they have reached an agreement which they hope will move a step closer to securing the future of East Midlands' parkland circuit Donington Park," it read.

"The parties have also reached agreement on the terms of the planning agreement required for planning permission to be issued and are finalising arrangements with the Council.

"These positive developments, combined with the ongoing encouragement from Formula One rights holder Bernie Ecclestone, demonstrates that DVLL is committed to pushing forward with its 2009 racing plans and 2010 Formula One preparations."

"We are pleased that significant progress has been made in recent weeks," added Kevin Wheatcroft, "and I am delighted that we have now reached an amicable agreement. We have always shared and supported the vision of ensuring that Formula One returns to Donington Park and are hopeful that, with the settlement achieved, that vision will be turned into reality."

"This is another positive boost for Donington Park," said Gillett. "We were always aware that saving the future of the British Grand Prix was an enormous task, but it is one that we are fully committed to and will make happen. So far, all of our efforts have been achieved in the face of adversity and it's reassuring to know that the Wheatcroft family shares our vision and passion for British motorsport."

All that remains now is for Gillett, who, reported on Pitpass, has previously owned a similar type of motorsport company which ended up going bankrupt with a 200,000 deficit in the amount it owed to creditors, to reveal how he will finance the estimated 100m budget needed for the upgrade of the circuit.

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