Circuit of Wales – Might it Stall?
By Robin Roberts and Miles Better News Agency.
The future of the proposed £375 Million Circuit of Wales will probably be decided tomorrow (Wednesday 13th July).
The Welsh Government is expected to announce if it will underwrite a substantial part of the project that it said in April it couldn’t support in its entirety.
Then it left the door ajar for further talks over revised funding and the developers put a new package together and have been talking to civil servants ever since.
On Monday, developers behind plans for the new race track and automotive academy in Blaenau Gwent called on the Welsh Government to support them.
Ministers described the risk in original proposals in April as “unacceptable” after an independent assessment questioned the viability of the scheme above Ebbw Vale, in the light of other circuits struggling to fulfill fixtures and attract events throughout the UK.
New proposed business plans would see the government agree to underwrite about half the cost if the Circuit of Wales got into difficulties. Under the revised plans, as well as underwriting half the costs, a further £90m would come in loans from Blaenau Gwent and Monmouthshire councils.
“The government know full well that this is a fantastic opportunity for Wales,” commented the chief executive of the project Martin Whitaker.
“This is decision time. We have the confidence that they will see the values of this project. We are ready to go and we are certain that the government will this week give us that confidence and certainty and progress it.”
He added, “At the end of the day, the two councils are the ones who benefit the most,” added Mr. Whitaker.
“This is a project which is going to deliver a massive amount of not only opportunity, but clearly jobs and benefit to the region.”