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Thread: Motorsport "Circuit of Wales" project

  1. #1
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    Motorsport "Circuit of Wales" project

    Construction work on the £315m Circuit of Wales project is set to begin early in the New Year, it has emerged.

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    Preparation groundwork is due to start in January, while it is hoped construction work on the site in Blaenau Gwent will start in late February or early March.

    The proposed start date comes after the project was finally given the green light after its final planning issue was resolved in November.

    The firm behind the project, the Heads of the Valleys Development Company, received Welsh Government approval on de-registering 830 acres of common land that covers the proposed site last month .

    They are now putting firm plans in place to get the ball rolling for the first phase of construction in the New Year.

    The project will bring an international motorsport circuit to the site north of Ebbw Vale, South East Wales, alongside a one million sq ft technology park and training facility.

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    The main race track is 3.5 miles in length and there will be additional smaller circuits for karting, motocross and 4x4.

    Motor sports and automotive testing facilities, including a driver training centre and automotive proving ground are also planned.

    A technology park and incubator, providing for research and development and support services across the automotive, clean-tech and high value engineering sectors, will also feature.

    There are also plans for a 30 megawatt solar park from Chinese firm Hanergy, as well as two hotels.

    The aim is to have the track completed for the circuit to stage the British MotoGP in 2017, before the entire development is completed in 2020.

    Around 6,000 full-time jobs are expected to be created when it is completed, while annual visitor number are projected to be in the region of 750,000.
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  2. #2
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    A fresh financial proposal for the Circuit of Wales racetrack will be subjected to four to six weeks of “rigorous” tests before a decision is made, Economy Secretary Ken Skates has said.

    Construction work on the circuit was originally planned to begin in January 2016 before funding issues were raised.

    Mr Skates yesterday confirmed he had received a revised request for financial guarantees from the Welsh Government for the £430m facility planned for Ebbw Vale in South Wales, within the two-week deadline he had set.

    This will include checks to see if the businessmen behind the controversial scheme are fit and proper persons to receive Welsh Government financial guarantees totalling more than £200m.

    He said: “The due diligence exercise will include rigorous value for money testing and a Fit and Proper Person assessment of the directors.

    Last week we revealed how Monmouth Conservative MP David Davies had covertly recorded a meeting with two businessmen behind the scheme, Michael Carrick and Martin Whitaker.

    During the meeting, the two men falsely claimed that car giant BMW wanted build a “BMW World” theme park on the circuit of Wales site, and that the American conglomerate General Electric had invested in another of Mr Carrick’s projects.

    The men have instructed their solicitor to make a formal complaint about Mr Davies to the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner, but the MP maintains he has acted in the public interest.
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  3. #3
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    The £425m Circuit of Wales project is effectively dead today after being refused public sector guarantees by the Welsh Government.

    The Welsh Government cabinet had been meeting this morning to agree its decision on guaranteeing a significant proportion of the funding.

    After the meeting, economy minister Ken Skates issued a statement detailing why the Welsh Government had refused the £210m guarantee.

    The key points of his statement are:

    • The entire £373m debt of the Circuit of Wales would have gone on the Welsh Government's books. It would have hindered the Welsh Government's ability to deliver new hospitals, schools or housing
    • The developer's estimate of creating 6,000 jobs was significantly overstated. As few as around 100 operational jobs would be created in the operation of the racetrack,
    • Instead, the Welsh Government will provide £100m for a new "automotive technology business park in Ebbw Vale".
    • It will also explore the the potential of locating a South Wales Metro depot in the Ebbw Vale Enterprise Zone.


    The firm had estimated it would create 6,000 jobs, bring in 750,000 visitors a year and create £45m in annual value to the Welsh economy.

    They had also drawn up a proposal to create a major sports and music park with zip wires, indoor skiing, a wave rider, bungee jumping, lodges, hotels and a campsite.

    However the Wales Audit Office (WAO) said in April there were "significant shortcomings" in the way the government handed over the £9.3m given to the firm so far .
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