Last Tuesday’s announcement that the Welsh Government were set to withdraw from the Circuit of Wales project looked set to spell the end for the project, after economics minister Ken Skates laid out why their latest reports suggested it would not be wise for the government to invest heavily in the scheme to build a race circuit in South Wales.
However, organising body the Heads of the Development Company, under chief executive Martin Whittaker, has disputed that the news means the end of the project, exclusively telling MCN that despite the Minister’s withdrawal of support it does not mean the end of the project.
“The issue that happened last Tuesday was that they came up with some advice from their Treasury people that the whole balance of their guarantee would be on their balance sheet. We’ve had meeting with them since to try and understand what had happened, because they didn’t tell us prior to their meeting on Tuesday about this information.
“We are confident from the discussions that we’ve had with them last week that we can sit down and talk with them and identify how we can move things forward given the information we now have. Our investors are still in place. The government are looking to us to come back to them this week, sit down around the table with us and hammer it out.
When questioned about the claims made by the minister that they would have no further involvement in the project, Whittaker replied: “We had a meeting with the officials on Friday; and Friday is after Tuesday. The fact of the matter is, the Welsh Government have always kept their doors open - and a lot of things were said on Tuesday and statements made from both sides. I don’t want to get into a ‘we said, he said’ because Ken Skates has made it very clear that he’s still be prepared to sit down and talk to us.”
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.
For the full story on the latest developments with the project, see today Wednesday 5th July’s Motorcycle News.