‘It’s a foundation for what we hope is a revolution’

Sir Keith Mills
Sir Keith Mills
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Having previously worked with Sir Ben Ainslie in 2007, we are now looking forward to the second Portsmouth America’s Cup World Series.

In 2016, I find myself focusing on the successes we have already achieved and the strong foundations and encouragement it gives us for 2016 and beyond.

Last year’s event, despite bad weather on the Sunday, was a huge success for both the home team Land Rover BAR and Portsmouth. Spectators, team members, sponsors, media and technical crew arrived in force, bringing with them a huge boost to the local economy.

The America’s Cup has, and will continue to, add to Portsmouth’s reputation as a great waterfront city.

Huge numbers of people will now associate the city with a prestigious world sporting event that has few rivals.

Portsmouth has proved it has a lot to offer visitors from all over the world and the event this summer will further introduce that, including the maritime heritage, bringing long-term benefits to the tourism industry.

Land Rover BAR’s successes, both on home turf and throughout the Series, have also really secured a huge amount of support and awareness, only a good thing for Portsmouth.

Since its inception, the team has generated £38m of economic impact to the UK through the build of the base and supply chain.

It’s not just Portsmouth that will benefit from its association with the America’s Cup; the Solent region as well as the British marine and maritime sector are reaping the benefits.

We are working hard with businesses and organisations from across the region to ensure the event can reach its maximum potential and lead the way for future development. Because of these initiatives, cities around the world will look to emulate our successes. The strategy has not simply been as a short-term sports team.

We have a long-term, 25-year plan resulting from both Land Rover BAR and the America’s Cup World Series.

That’s why we’ve built an extraordinary base in Old Portsmouth and, after this summer, will have hosted two of the series events.

This is a foundation for what we hope will be a revolution in Portsmouth and on the south coast, where the presence of a team like BAR and the America’s Cup can start to create the sort of impact that Formula One has had elsewhere in the UK.