£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
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.
excellent access to the water for the team’s training and to host future
America’s Cup events, with fantastic spectator viewpoints.
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.’
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.
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.
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
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