Circuit of Wales racetrack project asks for funding

Project developers ask for up to £50m

DEVELOPERS behind the Circuit of Wales racetrack are asking the Welsh and UK governments for up to £50m towards the cost of the project.

The Heads of the Valleys development firm has already received a £2m grant from the Welsh Government to help develop plans for the £280m racetrack.

However, they are now asking the Treasury for £20m to underwrite the project.

The Welsh Government has refused to comment on how much public money it is considering to invest in the project but a letter seen by the TV documentary ‘BBC Wales’ Week In Week Out’ reveals it is £30m.

The firm has said that its plans to build the racetrack, hotels, a grandstand, a technology park and a solar park will create huge opportunities and generate £50m a year for the Welsh economy.

The TV show, which airs tonight, has revealed that a deal hasn’t yet been signed with Dorna to host the September 2015 MotoGP race in Ebbw Vale.

According to the firm, the race is a crucial part of the company’s plans as it will bring 6,000 jobs and 750,000 visitors a year to the region and attracts global audiences of up to 300m.

Professor Garel Rhys, Chair of the Welsh Automotive Forum, is supportive of the project but doubtful of the firm’s job forecast.

He told the TV programme: “It increases expectation to an incredible height and where are those (jobs) going to come from.

“You need incredible multipliers to get to 6,000 so I’ve thought when it was said that it was silly.

“If you could have 1,000-plus on the Heads of the Valleys fantastic, but a figure of 6,000 really doesn’t do any good to anybody.”

Michael Carrick, CEO of the Heads of the Valleys Development Company, said in response: “That is disappointing. I think we will create many more jobs than that.”