The Rally of Great Britain looks set to stay in Wales next year after the Welsh Government reached an agreement in principle with organisers International Motorsports Ltd to host the event in Wales in 2013, Minister for Business Edwina Hart announced today.
Following positive negotiations, Mrs Hart said she was delighted that Wales was on track to welcome the UK round of the FIA World Rally Championship, known as the Rally of Great Britain, back to Wales for a 14th consecutive year in 2013.
Speaking at the launch of this year's Wales Rally GB at Llandudno today, Mrs Hart said: "Wales Rally GB is one of Wales' long standing flagship events and has been exclusively hosted here since 2000. In addition to reaching an in principle agreement for 2013, we have agreed to undertake a full review of next year's event, with a view to extending the agreement for a further two years.
“The value of the relationship between the staging of Wales Rally GB and Wales' automotive sector should not be underestimated.
“Wales Rally GB has significant links with the automotive sector in Wales, which is home to 150 component and systems manufacturing companies. The industry in Wales also employs 18,000 people in automotive manufacturing, retail & maintenance and has an annual turnover of c£3 billion."
Andrew Coe, Chief Executive of International Motor Sports, which organises Wales Rally GB, added: “We are delighted that we have reached this in-principle agreement with the Welsh Government. Wales is a fantastic location for the event which has been a great success for over a decade. As always, our position within the World Rally Championship remains subject to FIA approval, but this renewed support from Wales represents an exciting opportunity for the future development of our round of the FIA World Rally Championship.”
The Welsh Government provided a funding package worth £1.4million to support this year's Wales Rally GB event.