£7.5m investment of tax payers' money for Sir Ben's America's Cup team base in Portsmouth

Ministers today announced £7.5million of Government funding to

support Sir Ben Ainslie’s America’s Cup team and their proposal to be

based on the Camber in Portsmouth.

The news follows on from Portsmouth

City Council’s decision to give planning approval for the site of the

new base.

The announcement took place today at 10 Downing Street in the presence of the Prime Minister David Cameron, who said: ‘Sir Ben Ainslie’s project is truly fantastic news for

Portsmouth and the Solent.

‘It will not only build on Portsmouth’s global

reputation as a centre of marine and maritime excellence but will also

deliver a real sporting and economic boost to the UK.

‘It is a great

example of our long-term plan – creating jobs as well as opportunities

for young people to develop their skills through apprenticeships. 

‘This is an exciting and historic challenge and I hope the whole country can get behind Sir Ben’s campaign.’

BAR Team Principal and four-time Olympic gold medallist, Sir Ben said: ‘Portsmouth has a great maritime heritage and we felt it

was a natural home for the team’s permanent base in the UK.

‘There is

excellent access to the water for the team’s training and to host future

America’s Cup events, with fantastic spectator viewpoints.

‘We hope

through our journey to bring the Cup home to Britain we will inspire

more young people to get involved in the sport, along with supporting

the growth of the marine sector in the Solent area to match the

country’s F1 innovation hub.’

What’s next?

The headquarters will initially employ about 90 people, with many

more potential jobs in the supply chain.

It will become the focal point

for the design, construction and development of the team’s boats and

will also provide sports science and fitness facilities.

An

apprenticeship and training scheme will ensure the site is sustainable

and there will be a drive to ensure the project acts as a catalyst to

encourage participation in the sport of sailing, all areas of the marine

industry and develop the talent of the future.

The project has the potential to bring significant economic and

sporting benefits to the UK, particularly for Portsmouth and the wider

Solent area. A recent report on Team New Zealand suggested that its

base in Auckland created 1,000 jobs and brought an $88million boost to

the local economy.

A visitor centre showcasing the sport, innovation, technology and

sustainability will be at the heart of the base, and will welcome

schools and community groups. Visitors will experience the construction

and on-going operation of the team’s America’s Cup boats first-hand.

In accordance with the team’s sustainability goals – monitored and

supported by 11th Hour Racing Inc. – the base will be built to the

BREEAM Excellent standard.

Timescale

Construction work will start immediately, with planned completion in

May 2015. Jonathan Goring will be responsible for the project at Ben

Ainslie Racing, and he will run a completely separate team and budget to

ensure that the base construction has no impact on the crucial drive to

win the America’s Cup in 2017.

Goring was Managing Director of Capita

Symonds, involved in the London 2012 Olympics, and CEO of Capita’s

successful consortium that was selected to run the Defence

Infrastructure Organisation.

The team developing the base includes HGP

Architects (already responsible for Portsmouth’s iconic Spinnaker Tower

at Gunwharf Quay); Allied Developments (Main Contractor); Reuby and

Stagg (Structural Engineers) and Couch Perry Wilkes (Environmental

Consultants).

Watch the Ben Ainslie Racing Team Base 3D Animation