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Little Classics Features: 30 September 2013

What Does The Future Hold For Historic Mallory Park?

Mallory ParkToday Mallory Park Motorsport Limited announced that the company had been put into administration as a result of the business no longer being viable under current restraints.

This sad news follows months of struggling by the company to try and resolve numerous conflicts over noise with locals; a number of whom moved to the area already aware of the noise generated by the track.

The track which has operated as a both a car and motorcycle racing track for many years has been working under a noise restriction put in place in 1985. However, since its introduction, Mallory Park has worked closely with Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council in a constructive manner to find a compromise, where several provisions in the noise restriction were open to interpretation.

However, more recently, a number of residents have applied increasing pressure to rigidly implement a number of the stipulations of the restriction. This has involve numerous meetings and hearings over the last two years and even a fine in August of £2,500, plus £23,000 court fees.

The resulting restrictions has led Mallory to significantly cut the number of operational hours of the track, meaning the business simply became unviable.

However, this is not necessarily the end…

The History of Mallory Park

Mallory ParkMallory Park began its story in the 1940’s as a pony trotting track. By the late 40’s the track had developed a significant oval grass track of nearly a mile in length.

Although developed, the parent company went bust, leaving its next era to start. Sat unused, the track started to get hired out as a motorcycle track for scrambling competitions and became well recognised, hosting the National Grass Track Racing Championships from 1951.

In 1955 a new owner, with a background in the building industry, further developed the venue by building a tarmac motor racing track. His dream of seeing Mallory Park as a racing venue was realised just one year later when in 1956 the track held its first competitive motor racing meet with nearly 250 motorcycles competing.

In 1963 Mallory Park, once again saw a new owner, Grovewood Securities, who already owned Oulton Park, Snetterton, and Brands Hatch. This era saw Mallory become further developed as a modern racing track, improving facilities and seeing a growth in crowds.

However, the 1970’s were tough times for Mallory, with the business severely struggling. This led to the track being sold yet again in 1983.

The new owner Titan Properties, then became landlords, leasing the track out to the Overend family who formed Mallory Park Motorsports Limited, which we know today.

In 2005 the ownership of the track was sold by Titan to The British Automobile Racing Club (BARC), with it becoming a popular and well know British racing circuit over its recent years.

So what next?

Mallory has clearly had a ride of ups and downs in its past. From marsh land to grass tracks, through to the brink of closure in the 70’s. Yet Mallory has endured.

The administrators, Kingston Smith & Partners LLP, said themselves that they will be working with all stakeholders to ensure that Mallory Park will see racing again.

With the current owners, BARC, living and breathing racing themselves, we hope they want to see the tarmac used in anger again soon. Even if there are restrictions and compromises to be made, to keep the locals happy, there is enough history and support to ensure that the track lives on in one form or another.

So many venues today are more than just one thing, hosting events, conferences and corporate days. These are all areas Mallory could better utilise, but this involves yet further investment. There is clearly no easy answer.

It may struggle to host the level of activity it has done recently, but we hope a new balance can be found to make Mallory a viable and successful track again. As a part of our motoring history, it would be a travesty for it not to be.

We hope to see further information soon from BARC: www.barc.net



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