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Friday, 4 July 2008

Nottingham Must Move Quickly for F1 Boost

With Donington Park set to host the British Formula One Grand Prix from 2010 Nottingham must get into gear to be sure we take full advantage.

This is a huge opportunity for a city that has struggled to establish positive reputation in recent years.

Around 100,000 fans will attend the race during three days from all over the world. While some of them will camp, and a few crazy fools will wander off in the direction of Derby and Leicester, the lion's share will come to Nottingham.

Let’s not disappoint them. It is a chance to show Nottingham off as a fabulous place to live, work and play. To make the most of the opportunity the city cannot delay. The local authority is in pole position to make it happen. Council leader Jon Collins should put a team together without delay to consider the options and get the wheels turning.

From the branding of the city, to innovative events to mark the three day racing festival, to international marketing to make sure Nottingham is seen as the host city, there is much to do.
In addition, to the economic and reputational benefits of the Grand Prix there is also mileage in using the event to excite the city’s youth.

While Formula One is not the kind of sport that allows young people to have a go, as they might if an international cricket event were taking place, there are still some opportunities.

For example, can the pupils from the Top Valley School and Engineering College (sponsored by Toyota), which teaches automotive engineering, be involved in this blue riband event? Is it possible to set up a visit from Lewis Hamilton or have a session with one of the technicians from a top team.

The race may still be two years away but that will flash past like an F1 car. If Nottingham is to make the most of this, a good start is essential.

Charles Walker
Political Editor
For more political news and analysis go to the Post's politics website.

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