Leumi drives conversion of UK racetrack to automotive logistics hub

The London-based subsidiary of the Israeli international bank provided a £33m loan to back the redevelopment of the iconic racing circuit.

The site of the UK’s Rockingham Motor Speedway, said to have been Europe’s fastest oval racing circuit, is in line for a transformation into a specialist logistics hub for the automotive industry.

In October, the owner of the Nottinghamshire track, which used to be a venue for the British Touring Cars Championship, sourced a £33 million (€36.4 million) three-year loan from Leumi UK, the London-based subsidiary of Israel’s leading international bank, to part-fund the redevelopment.

Rockingham Group, which acquired the 340-acre site in 2018, has consent for vehicle processing facilities and a 1.3 million square foot logistics unit. Following the redevelopment, which is due to complete in March 2021, the site will be used for vehicle storage, de-fleet procedures, re-marketing, testing and repair.

The plans mark a new chapter for the site which, in 2001, became the first purpose-built banked oval racetrack to open in the UK since 1907.

According to a 2018 article in UK automobile magazine Autocar, the site was conceived as an American-style high-speed test track, akin to those that host IndyCar events in the US. In 2001, Rockingham hosted its first Championship Auto Racing Teams race, and from 2003 the course’s own stock car series was created. From 2007 until 2018, the British Touring Cars Championship made annual visits.

Although it could host around 55,000 spectators, the track rarely attracted such crowds and, according to the Autocar article, the circuit did not hold as much appeal for drivers or spectators as other venues, such as the historic Silverstone, located just 40 miles away.

In November 2018, it hosted its final race. It seems as though Rockingham’s future will still be all about vehicles; they just won’t be moving as fast.

The Rockingham Motor Speedway is built on a former British Steel site in Corby, Northamptonshire, for £45 million

The track is sold to a group of investors in August and hosts its final race in November

Plans are approved to transform the site into a logistics hub for the car industry

Leumi UK provides £33 million of debt to part-fund the redevelopment, which is due to complete in March 2021