Key Characteristics about Motor Sport in Northern Ireland

The Governing Bodies have around 80 affiliated clubs with membership numbering in the region of 6,000. There are approximately 4,000 active members involved in four-wheel motorsport, with the remaining members involved with motorbike racing – the two wheel version of the sport. While the active membership of clubs is modest, the sport attracts a lot of motorsport enthusiasts who are not involved in a specific club. This is evident not only at the major motorcycle events, which attract tens of thousands of spectators and receive significant international media coverage, but also at the numerous local events.

Number of Members, clubs and competition licences per GB in NI in 2017
In 2017… 4 Wheel Motorsport 2 Wheel Motorsport TOTAL
# of Members 3,790 200 1,200 900 6,090
# of Clubs 33 4 25 18 80
# of Competition Licences 1,435 150 400 700 2,685
  • 80 affiliated clubs
  • 4 governing and co-ordinating bodies
    • ANICC;
    • NIKA;
    • MCUI-UC;
    • and MRA
  • 6,090 active members – majority male
    • ANICC and MCUI-UC – half members are under 40
    • NIKA – half members are under 18
    • MRA – one third members are under 18
  • 2,685 competition holders across the sport
  • Average spend per annum by each member between £7,000 and £10,000
  • Cost of entry can be high
  • Volunteers provide support, encouragement, logistics, and coaching to local enthusiasts; who fund raise and who administer the sport locally (some nationally and internationally)
  • It is estimated that the gross economic impact from motor sports in Northern Ireland could be around £100 million (see Figure 2)
  • It is estimated that expenditure by motorsport participants was around £58m in 2017

Our strategy has identified a number of actions which will assist us to contribute to the achievement of these outcomes. We aim to build new relationships and partnerships with both central and local government, with Sport NI and others in moving our strategy forward.

Estimated expenditure by Motorsport Participants in NI 2017
In 2017… 4 Wheel Motorsport 2 Wheel Motorsport TOTAL
Estimated Expenditure by participants £38m £3.3m £12m £5m £58.3m

  • In 2017, the total economic impact from the two major motorcycle racing events, the NW 200 and the Ulster Grand Prix in Northern Ireland was £30 million (total spend from event expenditure for the NW200 and UGP in 2017 was £10.24 million and the promotional impact for the two events was estimated at £20 million).
  • In 2017 the economic value of the minor events was £17.3m across 319 minor events – costs met through fees, member contributions, admission charges, advertising and sponsorship. The number of events and the impact of these per sports is outlined in the table below.
Estimated Economic Value of Minor Events 2017 in NI
(Ref Economic Impact of Motorsport Report 2018)
In 2017… 4 Wheel Motorsport 2 Wheel Motorsport TOTAL
# of Events 162 21 31 105 319
Estimated Other Events Impact £m £4.28m £0.54m £7.38m £5.10m £17.3m
  • Social benefits – development of marketable skills in participants, support staff and volunteers; a sense of community involvement and pride; and an enhanced international reputation for NI
  • Hidden costs – injuries or fatalities through Motorsport
  • In the five financial years up to 2018/19, a total of £1.5million was committed by Tourism NI to motorsport events
  • Significant in kind support from local Councils, Department for Infrastructure, Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and emergency services which are not currently charged to Motorsport
  • The Department for Communities has provided £715,000 of funding to improve safety and facilities at motorsports venues since 2016

Gross Annual Economic Impact of Motorsport in NI (ref Economic Impact of Motorsport Report 2018, DfC)