MotoGP: Government give Circuit of Wales two-week deadline

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Welsh Government Secretary for the Economy and Infrastructure Ken Skates has given the Heads of the Valley Development Company, the organisation behind the Circuit of Wales project, a two-week deadline to finalise their latest funding plan.

The organisation last presented a funding plan to the Welsh Assembly back in July, which was summarily rejected because of the onus it placed on the Assembly to guarantee funding for the £425 million scheme.

But with no plan yet to materialise, Stakes yesterday told the Senedd that the people of Ebbw Vale deserve an answer on the project one way or another.

“The people of Ebbw Vale deserve to know if this project is going to go ahead and crucially if so when. I am keen to avoid more opportunity costs associated with the project without a final date.

“Therefore I have written to the Heads of Valleys Development Company today asking them to make faster progress on this project and asking evidence to be provided to me of named investor term sheets within the next two weeks.”

They were asked back in July to provide a new plan that reduced government investing in the project to under 50%, with the plan pitched back then requiring a reported 85% of the money to come from local government despite insurance giants Aviva pledging to provide up to £270 million. The Welsh Assembly has already provided £9 million of public funding to date.

A Circuit of Wales spokesman responded by saying: “The Circuit of Wales welcomes the Cabinet Secretary for Economy’s desire for a speedy resolution which ties in with our own proactive timetable.”

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.

Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer