It plays host to track days, driving experiences, a huge and sleek museum and a lot else besides. It’s a hub of activity, with lots of schoolchildren milling about and a good smattering of people in the café where we sit down for a quick lunch.
Astonishingly, for such a high-profile sporting venue, there is very little in the way of accommodation at Silverstone, beyond a recently opened Hilton hotel. Aside from that, people have to stay in nearby Bicester, Milton Keynes or Northampton, or further afield in London and Oxford, on race days or if they are visiting the track for some other reason.
It’s this gap which Escapade Silverstone, founded by Will Tindall, is seeking to fill, as well as offering investors a unique lifestyle investment opportunity with strong commercial returns.
After a quick rundown of the history of the track and how Escapade Silverstone first came to be, we are driven around Silverstone – which is like its own mini-city – by Tindall, who is a likable, amiable and genuine tour guide.
His passion for the project and motorsport in general is clear, and he is eager to convey the USPs that the residences at Escapade Silverstone will offer once completed.
What will be included?
While the project is still very much at the building stage – and the site has become something of a bog due to the recent bad weather – the vision is clear and starting to take shape, with a busy team of construction workers laying the foundations and the structures of what will eventually be a new clubhouse and the residences.
Once complete – Tindall says full completion is likely to be the end of next year – there will be 60 residences in total, alongside a clubhouse with a restaurant, gym, pool, sauna and roof terrace, where excellent views of the track are on offer. The residences will function as a 180-key hotel 365 days a year.
In total, the project covers 14 acres of land bordering the track, farmland and protected woodland.
There are three main types of residences on offer – countryside, dual-aspect and trackside – with 2-4 bedrooms in each.
Perhaps the scheme’s most innovative concept is the subdivision of residences depending on the need. So, all of the residences subdivide with ‘acoustically designed secure partitions’ – which means a two-bedroom residence could become two one-bed residences to maximise the yields that an investor can make on their home.
The residences are described as a lifestyle investment structured as a commercial property, and are priced at the luxury end of the market – from £750,000 up to £2.2 million. They are all high-spec and aim to be the top tier of accommodation available at the circuit.
Once dressed in full PPE – never a particularly comfortable experience! – we are taken on a site tour and get to see the beginnings of what will eventually be the clubhouse and the trackside residences. The views on offer of the track are second to none and would be a dream for any keen F1 or motorsport fan.
On the day we are there, a number of cars are zooming round the track at breakneck speed, and the hum and throbbing noise are not dissimilar to what it would be like on a proper race day. Tindall says all the residences will be sound-proof so whoever is staying there will be able to relax and put their feet up without constant noise interference, but he also explains that the noise of racing cars is in Silverstone’s DNA and people staying there will likely expect that to be part of the experience.
The goal, ultimately, is to provide a space designed to seamlessly merge hospitality and motorsport in ‘an original and distinct way’.
A growing tech hub
Motorsport in the UK is very big business. Motorsport Valley, which Silverstone sits right at the heart of, covers much of Oxfordshire and Northamptonshire and is home to seven out of the 10 F1 teams.
Overall, this mini-economy employs an estimated 25,000 skilled engineers out of a total workforce of 41,000. The sector also has a turnover of some £9 billion. The area lives and breathes motorsport, in other words, and all the tech innovations that come with that.
Silverstone Park and its technology cluster, which sits just over the road from the circuit, is home to more than 90 mainly engineering and automotive businesses, including a company that takes vintage cars and makes them fully electric. Once fully complete, it will cover 2.1m sq ft.
Location, location, location
Sitting in the middle of the Northamptonshire countryside, you might think that Silverstone isn’t particularly easy to access. And it’s true that transport links to the track itself aren’t abundant.
However, it does sit between Birmingham International airport and the London airports, and right next to the M40. Bicester’s two train stations are about a 30-minute drive or cab ride away, while Northampton is only 25-minutes away. Both towns have good rail links to London and the Midlands.
Bicester Village, a shopping outlet in Bicester, is one of the UK’s most popular retail destinations, especially among overseas tourists, while the world-famous Bletchley Park is relatively close by and Milton Keynes – with all of its popular indoor activities – is also on the doorstep.
People staying at and enjoying Silverstone, then, also have a number of places they can branch out to as well, which could make an investment – and the residences themselves – all the more attractive.
What is perhaps most surprising is that it’s taken until now for a bespoke accommodation offering to be provided at Silverstone. Tindall, with his experience in resorts and branded residential offerings across the world, seems to be the perfect person to change that.
(Timelapse video of the last 100 days of construction)