After a month-long struggle to find a new operator, the lease over the Donington Park motor racing circuit is going back to its landlords.
Administrator Nigel Price, a partner at business recovery specialists Begbies Traynor, said the firm had been unable to find a buyer and that the future of the complex would now be in the hands of Wheatcroft & Son Limited. Donington Ventures Leisure Limited (DVLL), the company which held a 150-year lease on the track, has been in administration since November.
Its affairs have been in the hands of Mr Price and colleagues John Kelly and James Martin from the Birmingham office of Begbies Traynor.
“We have not managed to sell the lease and we have handed it back to the landlords,” said Mr Price. “Although there have been many interested parties and detailed and lengthy negotiations, ultimately it has not been possible to do a deal.”
He added: “DVLL had a 17-year contract with Formula One Administration to host the British Grand Prix round of the Formula One World Motor Racing Championship but this was finally lost at the end of November and some parties withdrew. However, there was still serious interest in the circuit as a national track, although the onerous terms of the lease meant that a deal could not be done in the relatively short timescale available to us.”
Rival circuit Silverstone has since concluded an agreement to continue hosting the event.
He said “As I motor racing fan I am delighted that there will still be a British Grand Prix but I would have loved to have brought it to Donnington and especially for the staff there, who have worked so hard to achieve it. I would like to thank them all for their efforts and wish them well for the future.”
The liabilities are estimated to be about £20 million and all of the remaining staff have been made redundant.