Palmer warns of Circuit of Wales 'white elephant’

"It is a real concern that this will turn into a white elephant at the expense of much needed public funds" - Jonathan Palmer, AMRCO.
Jonathan Palmer, chairman of the Association of Motor Racing Circuit Owners (AMRCO), has warned that the proposed Circuit of Wales motorsport complex could turn into 'a white elephant at the expense of much needed public funds'.

Outline planning permission for the £280 million development, which will include a 3.5 mile circuit as well as Motocross and kart tracks, commercial and retail complexes and a technology park, was granted on Wednesday.

Construction is scheduled to start later this year, with an estimated completion date of 2015-16.

However the BBC quotes Palmer, in his role as chairman of AMRCO, which represents 17 UK race tracks, as saying: "The UK circuit industry welcomes innovation and investment, however history and experience suggest that an investment of this magnitude in a motor racing circuit will never produce a return for investors.

"It is a real concern that this will turn into a white elephant at the expense of much needed public funds, and we hope this project will now be subject to careful scrutiny by Welsh government inspectors and the Wales Audit Office."

The Circuit of Wales responded: "It's no surprise that we are seen as a competitive threat to many of the existing sites that we have in the UK.

"Over the course of the last three years we have met with senior management of 11 of the 17 circuit owners, many of whom have input into our business plan and several operators who have expressed interest in providing services to the circuit."

Palmer is also Chief Executive of MSV, which owns and operates the Brands Hatch, Oulton Park, Snetterton and Cadwell Park circuits, as well as holding the commercial rights to BSB.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Impression of the Circuit of Wales [Pic credit: Circuit of Wales]
Howie Mainwaring Smart, Anvil Hire Yamaha []
Broc Parkes, ePayMe Yamaha, [Credit:]
Luke Mossey, Quattro Plant Kawasaki [Credit:]
Leon Haslam, JG Speedfit Kawasaki, BSB [Credit:]
Dan Linfoot, Honda Racing [Credit:]
Leon Haslam, JG Speedfit Kawasaki, BSB [Credit:]
Broc Parkes, ePayMe Yamaha, [Credit:]
Luke Mossey, Quattro Plant Kawasaki [Credit:]
Michael Laverty, Tyco BMW, BSB [Credit:]
Ryuichi Kiyonari, Smiths BMW [Credit:]
Christian Iddon, Tyco BMW [Credit:]
James Ellison, JG Speedfit Kawasaki [Credit:]
Dan Linfoot, Honda Racing [Credit:]
Jason O`Halloran, Honda Racing [Credit:]
Leon Haslam, JG Speedfit Kawasaki, BSB [Credit:]
James Ellison, JG Speedfit Kawasaki [Credit:]
Luke Mossey, Quattro Plant Kawasaki [Credit:]

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July 11, 2013 11:26 AM

This is Palmer trying to protect his dominance of BSB tracks. Good luck to Wales and don't pay Palmer his extortionate fees for hosting a BSB race. I would have more sympathy for his views if he put something back into BSB, like giving money to teams that are scoring championship points and not putting it all into his pocket.


July 12, 2013 11:34 PM

Sour grapes J Palmer there is only one circuit now in the uk that can stage Moto gp & F1 thats Silverstone,i read the Circuit of Wales will not try to stage F1,crcuits like Oulton Mallory park have been ruined by all the chicane's that have had to be installed for safety reasons,so whats the alternative build a new cicuit that can cope with todays racing machines.the circuit will be easy to get to just of the heads of the valleys road the a465 thats joins the motorway network ,Wales needs this circuit i would like to see BSB held there after all Wales not got a round but scotland got one on that mickey mouse circuit,however the prospect of that happening are not likely with JP owning the rights to BSB.White Elephant i doubt it.

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