MotoGP: Circuit of Wales in fresh political row

Published: 14 October 2016

The Circuit of Wales project has become embroiled in yet another political row, after the Welsh Conservatives attacked project bosses Heads of the valley Development Company for using a £7 million loan from the Welsh Assembly to pay off existing debts.

Party leader Andrew Davies has attacked the firm for the move, questioning whether the government chose the right company to move the project forward while speaking to the South Wales Argus.

“The Circuit of Wales is a fantastic opportunity not only for the South Wales Valleys, but for Wales more generally; and yet this casts more doubt over whether the Welsh Government has picked the right company to carry this vital project forward.

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"In light of this latest revelation, one really has to ask why it was unable to pay its creditors. Given so many millions of pounds in public money has already been spent on the project, the Welsh Government must reveal if it is a guarantor to any more outstanding loans.”

However, both the Welsh government and the HOTVDC were quick to downplay the loan, confirming that it was in line with procedure and that it was guaranteed to be repaid even in the case of HOTDVC bankruptcy.

But the government also reiterated that they still stand by their decision not to guarantee any more of the project than the 50% they pledged earlier this year.

The HOTVDC had their latest proposal for funding rejected by the government back in July, asking that they underwrite 75% of the costs – but new Welsh Economy Secretary Ken Skates rejected that plan, saying that the plan did not provide value for money for the level of risk.

Originally proposed in 2011 and scheduled to get construction underway in 2013, the site has yet to break ground. However, the Circuit of Wales organisation remain as the rights holders of the British round of the MotoGP championship, signing a ten-year deal with rights holders Dorna in 2014.

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