The Route – Finance has approved a loan of £875,000 for the purchase of a former brick clay pit site in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, which extends to nearly 200 acres and borders the town of Coalisland.
The lands had been subject to both coal mining and clay extraction for approaching 150 years, with the related businesses being a major employer for the area. However, since the reserves were exhausted some 10 years ago, employment has ceased.
Over the recent years of inactivity, the two clay extraction pits had been filled by natural springs and precipitation, forming two large lakes, which, despite their considerable depth, had been attracting children onto the site with obvious attendant risks.
The new owner of the land will begin working on the site using his investment from The Route – Finance to fill the two lakes with various types of clean landfill (including peat, topsoil and a selection of green aggregates). The lakes, which are in places more than 30 metres deep, will be filled to reduce this to some 3 metres, creating a much safer, but still striking and scenic centre-point.
The NIEA (Northern Ireland Environment Agency) has granted permissions to accept these types of clean landfill to the site, and the next stage will be to formalise the necessary licensing, which will allow the considerable volumes of fill required to be managed in a formal way, also meeting any legislative or compliance issues.
Housing And Motorsports
The landfill project, however, is only half of the story. The new owner of the land has had the vision for a scheme, which has come from his background as a commercial property developer and an interest in motorcycle road racing (and his alarm at the growing number of deaths in the sport).
With the pits filled, it is the intention that a motorsports racetrack and its associated facilities will be built, combining high speeds with modern safety methods to produce a centre of excellence for motorsport.
In addition, 2.5 acres of the site have already been zoned for residential housing, on which at least 30 new houses are to be built.
The track itself will have the ability to offer one large circuit approaching 2.5 miles, or a number of smaller ones of less than one mile that can operate at the same time dependent upon the needs of the motorsport discipline.
Ultimately the circuit will service everything from local club status, to international status events for some sports.
The infrastructure supporting the complex will be specifically designed to encourage full utilisation of the site and to facilitate non-motorsports events ranging from concerts, arts & cultural events, to community markets, shows and other gatherings.
Other elements will include:
- A hotel
- Industrial units
- Motoring related retail
- A crèche
- Health centre, which will service the circuit and local community
- An amateur theatre
- Motorcycle/car museum/exhibitions venue
- Industrial interpretation of the town’s industrial heritage
- Playing fields
- A boating and fishing lake
- Catering outlets
- Camp-site/self catering accommodation
Motorcycle racing is very popular in Northern Ireland. The Ulster Grand Prix, known as the ‘world’s fastest road race’, attracts racers from around the globe, and is considered to be on a par with the world famous Isle of Man TT race.
Promoting Leisure And Community
Unlike crowdfunding platforms, The Route – Finance’s investors are solely made up of pre-qualified, typically high-worth individuals who are looking for better returns on their capital.
Thorough and careful due diligence was performed before the finalising of this latest investment, and in addition to the benefits for The Route – Finance investors, it is considered that the benefits to the local community and economy will also service the social aims of The Route’s lending projects.
On top of the jobs that will be created during the construction phase, the project will promote tourism to the wider area. What’s more, part time jobs will be created in order to host and manage each event, bringing still further economic prosperity to the area.