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Donington Park F1 update expected this week

22 October 2009

It has been reported that the beleaguered Donington Park could be set to reveal by the end of this week whether the required £135 million has been found that would keep the circuit on-track to host the 2010 British Grand Prix.

Having earlier this week appointed Sir Rodney Walker as the new non-executive chairman – said to be 'the first of a few key appointments we hope to announce' – Simon Gillett's under-fire Donington Ventures Leisure Ltd (DVLL) company now has only days left to secure the remainder of the funding that he needs to honour the 17-year agreement reached with F1 commercial rights-holder Bernie Ecclestone to host the blue riband event on the British motorsport calendar from next season onwards.

On Monday, Gillett met with several prospective investors in a bid to convince them to come on-board and back the ambitious redevelopment project to bring the Leicestershire circuit and its facilities up to the necessary standard to welcome the world's most glamorous sport. The initiative has been dogged by issues ranging from internal strife, safety fears and delays in planning permission to legal threats and financial concerns since the deal with Ecclestone's Formula One Management (FOM) company was struck back in the summer of last year.

According to local newspaper the Derby Evening Telegraph, Gillett is expected to make an announcement on Friday as to whether or not the £135 million total has been reached. It is understood that only £25 million is currently in the bag, but the Englishman has stressed that he is 'optimistic' about being able to make up the shortfall.

Last week, DVLL began selling bonds, which could subsequently be traded in by investors after seven years.


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