Phase 1 Outline Feasibility Study - Interim Report
To develop further the ideas generated for CIMS regarding expanding the utilization of the Stadium by diversification into additional motorsport activity and enhancing the current stadium activities.
Through a combination of desk research and interviews categorise the ideas into four broad groups;
- Those that are inappropriate for the business.
- Those that are appropriate but either due to timescale, resources or the investment required should be considered of a lesser priority.
- Those that are appropriate and can add real benefit to the business either by raising the profile of the Stadium or contributing directly to the bottom line.
- Activities that CIMS could undertake that contribute to the local community and its social problem areas, in particular to investigate activities using the potential of CIMS to have a positive exemplar. These activities to be identified as to alignment with other potential delivery organisations and to have third party funding potential.
Due to constraints of the initial funding under the Mustard Programme and in line with the discussions between CIMS, Business Link and FPC it was agreed that only aspects that would bring kudos to the Stadium - the ACU Academy and the involvement of CMPE, together with those which are most likely to see an early contribution to the bottom line should be researched and that the remainder of Phase 1, as detailed in the proposal submitted on 17th February, be held pending further funding applications.
Accordingly per discussions over the course of this work FPC have focused on the proposed all-British speedway bike, attracting the ACU Academy, social inclusion opportunities with Groundwork, Mini-moto opportunities and hosting a round of the National Series of Supermoto.
As agreed this is an interim report and details only the main findings from the interviews and site meetings conducted. Full details of each interview are given separately
The study used a combination of interviews and desk research together with site visits to both CIMS and other venues.
The following individuals/organisations were interviewed in the course of this work;
- The manager of the Centre for Motorsport and Performance Engineering (CMPE) at Coventry University School of Engineering.
- The CEO of the Auto Cycle Union (ACU), the motorcycle racing regulatory body.
- The manager of the ACU Academy.
- The Road Race Manager at the ACU.
- Sideways Promotion, organisers of the 2003 National Supermoto championship.
- The Pollini Mini-moto importer.
- The Community Projects Team Manager at Groundwork Coventry & Warwickshire.
Informal discussions were also held with members of the Speedway Control Board, the Chairman of the ACU, CCM, a children's bike importer, members of the mini-moto racing fraternity, officials from Oxford Silver Machine and potential external tarmac track operators.
In addition visits were also made to the National Speedway Show at Stoneleigh, Oxford Speedway Stadium and Donnington Park.
Summary of key findings
Proposed all-British Speedway Bike
Interview with the manager of CMPE;.
- He sees great potential for an all British Speedway Bike and feels that creating such a machine is achievable.
- The three principle parts to a world-class speedway bike; the engine, the frame and the clutch, can all be sourced to a large degree in the UK.
- The engine would be the most difficult element, as some development work is still needed to have the entire engine sourced in the UK.
- The largely defunct Weslake engine brand maybe available. Purchasing this may give the project further credibility.
- Government funding maybe available for the project.
Interviews with representatives of the ACU;
- Provided the Mini-moto and Supermoto track(s) are designed inconjunction with the ACU and are of National/International quality then the ACU would consider locating the ACU Academy Squads for both disciplines at CIMS.
- The ACU and the Speedway Control Board announced on 7th April that Speedway was to have a presence within the ACU Academy. Potentially CIMS could therefore also host the Speedway Academy Squad.
- However the ACU have appointed Louis Carr as their Speedway Training Officer and he is strongly associated with Sheffield Speedway. Early discussions with Carr and the ACU are essential to avoid the Speedway Academy being located at Sheffield.
- The ACU is in discussion with the MSA (the car equivalent of the ACU) to bring Karting into the Academy. A provisional announcement was made to this effect at the ACU Academy Open day at Donnington Park on 7th April. Accordingly it is feasible that CIMS could host the ACU Karting Academy Squad in the future. Again early discussions with both the ACU and MSA are essential.
Social Inclusion Opportunities with Groundwork
Interview with Groundwork Coventry and Warwickshire. Discussions with the ACU and UK 1 Racing Team (suppliers of mini-motos to the ACU).
- At the present time the area served by Groundwork has a problem with illegal use of motorcycles. Groundwork sees CIMS as one avenue to address this issue.
- At CIMS Groundwork would be interested in working with the local police to draw up a programme for disadvantage youngsters.
- Initially Groundwork are interested in this being centered on either the Karting or Mini-moto facilities. Such a programme would need to cover workshop instruction prior to track use of any equipment.
- If possible Groundwork would like to tie its courses into the ACU schools Mini-moto programme. This provides schools with a mini-moto bike in kit form at a cost of £2000. The schools then assemble it as part of a larger project.
- The funding for the bikes would come from the Youth Block Grant (YBG), which groups of 3 or more young people can access and which is administered locally.
- Groundwork would look to have a number of courses running concurrently so that competitive racing can take place between the groups. This would incentivise the participants greatly.
- GCW would want to pilot the scheme with 6 to 10 youngsters and involve the police to cover the safety aspects of the course.
Interview with the importer of Pollini Mini - Motos. Discussions with on-site motorcycle dealer, UK 1 Racing Team and the ACU.
- Importer of Pollini Mini - Motos estimates that there are 9 active mini-moto clubs in the UK. Six have joined forces with the ACU to create the first National series this year, which consists of 5 rounds. There are around 300 hardcore racers in the UK with an additional 500 casual users of mini-motos.
- Children heavily dominate the mini-moto scene in the UK.
- Clubs currently face a shortage of circuits.
- The clubs currently use tracks as short as 300m but only if they are wide. The Europeans like wide (6m) twisty tracks without any straights longer than 70m.
- Track should be designed so that one of a number of different layouts can be quickly set up. This would increase the interest in hiring the track from the clubs.
- Importer of Pollini Mini - Motos estimates that there are 14 track day companies active.
- The motorcycle dealer at CIMS is keen to investigate viability of offering Mini-Moto track days. Importer of Pollini Mini - Motos is not averse to giving them a Pollini franchise.
- Importer of Pollini Mini - Motos believes that to be successful the mini-moto operator must have hire and drive days on the circuit and set up its own championship running a round a month at the venue.
- To date Min-Moto clubs have not charged spectators. However this may change due to the existence this year of a National ACU Mini-Moto Series.
Hosting a Round of the 2003 National Supermoto Series
Discussions with representatives of CCM and the ACU.
- The 2003 National Supermoto Series consists of 5 rounds held during the summer.
- Sideways Promotions is interested in using CIMS to host a round of the series.
- Pending further investigation it looks likely that a track can be created within the confines of the Stadium that will pass the ACU's track regulations.
- Sideways Promotions is open to discussion regarding the contractual arrangements.
- The round would have to take place on a Saturday evening and the event is likely to tie up the facility for 4 days in total.
- There is potential for the CIMS round to be the championship finale.
Five ideas were explored within this interim study. Utilising the four categories defined in the Brief;
- None have proved inappropriate for the business.
- None, with the potential exception of the social inclusion programme - see below, seem to of a lesser priority.
- The hosting of up to four ACU Academy Squads would raise the profile of the Stadium, as would building an all-British Speedway Bike, particularly if it was built at the facility.
Introducing Mini-motos to the facility and securing a round of the National Supermoto Series would also seem appropriate and could add real benefit to the business, both by again raising the profile of the Stadium and by potentially contributing to the bottom line.
- Introducing a social inclusion programme inconjunction with Groundwork would directly fall into the fourth category. However as Groundwork want to utilise the ACU schools programme work on min-motos and this is still in the pilot stage it maybe more appropriate to concentrate on other activities first.
A number of the ideas explored are time dependant, particularly securing the 6th round of the National Supermoto Series and the ACU Academy Squads. It is recommended that these be given the highest possible priority.