STC joins call to Elon Musk to consider Northants for UK base

Silverstone Technology Cluster

22nd July 2021

The Silverstone Technology Cluster has joined Northamptonshire MPs Andrea Leadsom and Andrew Lewer in calling on multi-billionaire tech mogul Elon Musk to consider the county as a location for a possible UK base.

Reports of a visit by the founder of SpaceX and Tesla to Luton, Herts in May swiftly turned into claims he could be eyeing up possible sites, should he choose to expand to the UK.

The two Northants MPs were quick to write to him, outlining why the county would be the ideal place.

Soon their voices were added to by STC Chair Roz Bird (MEPC Silverstone Park), its Industry Advisory Group Chair Kieron Salter (KW Special Projects) and Future Mobility Special Interest Group (SIG) Champion Simon Holloway (RML) as they took to the airwaves on BBC Radio Northampton.

STC CEO Pim van Baarsen has subsequently written to Mr Musk, documenting why the region would stand out as an option.

In the letter, Pim reminded Mr Musk that the STC’s tech capabilities are now on the government’s radar and that “Future-thinking businesses innovating in software development and low carbon industrial processes, delivering solutions in space exploration and the built environment, and investing in Generation Z are gravitating to the area.”

Meanwhile Roz Bird told BBC Radio Northampton’s breakfast show host Annabel Amos: “He (Elon Musk) should consider coming to Northamptonshire. He’d be mad not to…

“We’re right at the heart of the Oxford-Cambridge Arc and the bit we’ve got that’s really special is businesses that are solving problem, working in F1 on the track, with the Ministry of Defence in aerospace and satellite technology… they are delivering technology that is changing the world.”

Appearing later on the same show, Kieron Salter, whose futuristic Digital Manufacturing Centre is now open at Silverstone Park, added: “If Elon was to come to Northamptonshire then the first thing he should is join the Silverstone Technology Cluster where he can meet like-minded people and discuss his plans.”

On the later Drive programme, Simon Holloway agreed with presenter Helen Blaby that the capabilities of the region’s tech companies would be the perfect fit for Mr Musk’s aspirations.

“It would indeed,” said Simon. “A lot of that has been borne out of the top end of motorsport with the number of F1 teams in our region where technology and leading-edge performance has always been key, and we have a really good supply chain.”

Click on the names above to hear their interviews on BBC Radio Northampton which, combined, resulted in some 17 minutes of coverage for the STC.

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