Thursday, April 25, 2024
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Circuit of Wales dead and buried

Late last year BDN financial editor Roger Willis opined that the £425m Circuit of Wales MotoGP venue proposal was on its death bed and a pre-emptive post-mortem had already begun. Now, its burial appears to have finally taken place.

The devolved Welsh government’s minister for economy and infrastructure, Ken Skates, has rejected a third bid for public finance partially to underwrite the project from promoter Heads of the Valleys Development Company (HOTVDC) and signalled that there would be no further political involvement.

In a statement, Skates said: “Over the next three years this would have the same impact on Welsh government budgets as if we had already spent the money — and would place a significant limit on our ability to deliver current and future projects to improve Welsh infrastructure, housing, hospitals or schools.”

His decision leaves two issues outstanding. Welsh government auditors are still investigating the fate of £9.35m in public money loaned to HOTVDC as seed capital. And HOTVDC’s 10-year contract with MotoGP rights holder Dorna to run the UK MotoGP round, signed in 2014, will almost certainly now be in jeopardy.

At no stage in negotiations spanning six years had HOTVDC produced convincing evidence of private funding commitments to bankroll the Circuit of Wales.

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