Circuit of Wales has seen its latest funding application to commence building work denied by the Welsh Assembly, but Economic Secretary Ken Skates has laid out new terms of agreement which need to be met to give the project the green light.
The Circuit of Wales project leaders, the Head of the Valleys Development Company, had been seeking loans of £90 million from the local councils of Blaenau Gwent and Monmouthshire after having its initial funding plan – to get the Welsh Assembly to underwrite the entire project – was rejected in April.
The latest decision has been sparked by the current economic uncertainty caused by Brexit and the government sees the risk of the revised plan as 'unacceptable'. Skates is set to confirm the project is still welcomed by the Welsh Assembly but will need to meet new terms.
"Unfortunately, despite the efforts of the project backers, this leaves only around 17% of the risk being taken by the private sector," Skates said on BBC News
. "My door remains firmly open and I have urged them to revise their bid in such a way where the private sector takes more of the risk in order for this project to be taken forward.”
In the new funding plans 50% of the finance needed to complete the construction will have to be raised privately while 50% of the underwriting will also need to come from the private sector.
The Circuit of Wales project is set to be financially backed by insurance giants Aviva and it is not yet know how these latest requirements will affect its commitment to the project.
The Circuit of Wales is targeting the creation of between 4,000-6,000 new jobs over the next ten years through commercial developments, planned business relocations and motorsport-related opportunities.
The venture secured a five-year deal with Dorna which began last year and had originally hoped to move the event to Ebbw Vale in 2017 but after interruptions in confirming financial backing MotoGP has been delayed by 12 months, with the Welsh circuit expected to take over hosting duties in 2018.
Silverstone will host this year's British MotoGP and is likely to be called upon for the 2017 race but this is yet to be confirmed by Dorna.