Racing to continue at United Downs as new lease is agreed

Stock car racing will continue in 2022 at a track in Cornwall after the Council signed a new lease with operators Purple Cornwall. 

The previous lease for the Council-owned United Downs Raceway site ended in October 2021, with the authority having previously negotiated a commercial lease with the Cornwall Distillery Company to develop plans for a renewable heat-powered distillery on the site. 

Following the refusal in mid-October of planning permission for the distillery’s proposals, the Council worked with partners with the aim of allowing racing to continue for the 2022 season. 

That has now been agreed in the form of a 12-month lease. 

David Harris, the Council’s Portfolio Holder for Resources, said: “We are pleased to have come to an arrangement that means that racing can continue in 2022. 

“We do not want to see the site sitting empty while its long-term future is under consideration, and we will continue to work with all parties in that respect.” 

Raceway co-promoter Crispen Rosevear said: “We are so incredibly grateful to all involved who have contributed so positively throughout the campaign over the past year, particularly the local councillors, council employees and many stakeholders, who have all worked tirelessly to ensure stock car racing, which has been embedded in the county since the 1950s, can continue in Cornwall.” 

Crispen also thanked supporters, adding that “the voice of the people has truly been listened to”. 

He said the decision also meant that Land Rover off-road trials, events for young motorcycle riders and community events would be able to continue at the site during 2022. 

The raceway’s Community Hub will also remain available for hire to community organisations.  

Crispen added: “This is the opportunity we have been striving for, to continue to serve the community by providing an accessible fun family day out, with a mixture of motorsport and entertainment in a safe, controlled, environment.” 

Connor Donnithorne, Cornwall Council member for Redruth Central, Carharrack & St Day, said: “I am delighted that after months of campaigning, we have managed to save the United Downs Raceway from closure.”  

“Since my election, I made it a priority to protect this important community asset, which is loved by so many of the people that I represent in Redruth Central, Carharrack and St Day. I am grateful that this administration has recognised the value of the United Downs Raceway to both my communities and the whole of Cornwall.” 

John Thomas, Cornwall Council member for Lanner, Stithians and Gwennap, said,” I am pleased to see that a solution has been found and that racing will take place in 2022 on 15 racing days. I also want to work with my local community to identify additional users on the site that meet the environmentally friendly ambitions of the Council.” 

The Cornwall Distillery Company has an agreement which runs to September 2023 that enables it to bring forward its development on the site. The Council will continue to work with the distillery to bring forward its ambitions on this site or other sites in its control.  

Story posted 26 January 2022

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