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One small step for Donington // The plans for improvements at the circuit are given the go-ahead

Published by Christine

Donington Park was finally given the go ahead for the anticipated revamp at a council meeting today. Local officials were given a tour of the circuit before coming to a unanimous agreement that the £100 million upgrade was acceptable.

Donington Plans Approved

Work is expected to start almost immediately, as time is tight for the complex overhaul Donington Park has planned. Full details of the changes can be found on the official site and include track layout, the pit and paddock buildings, medical facilities and more, but the lingering question remains: will they be able to afford it?

We already know that a lot of the money is coming from a debenture scheme, with Donington Ventures Leisure Limited planning to offset costs against future ticket sales. It looks as though they've got a further £40 million to raise of the total fund required, and as the The Telegraph reported yesterday, this is a rather daunting prospect.

ISG, the company tasked with sorting out the sale of seats, mostly to corporate companies, acknowledges that the economic downturn isn't helping.

Would we rather have been testing the market and putting together this product a year ago? Of course we would. Now is neither the best time to be persuading people to part with money for a new sporting proposition, nor is it the best time to be asking banks to back an offer of this sort.

Chief executive Simon Gillett has always remained completely confident that everything will work out and wants to put doubters minds at rest by putting the buildings up, rather than telling them things will be okay. This seems like a noble plan, but means we'll still be doubting for a while yet. Nevertheless, step one is out the way, and the next challenge is to get the construction started. How far do we think they'll get?