The Circuit of Wales project leaders have responded to the Welsh Government's rejection to its funding plan and seeks 'reasons and clarifications' before making its next move.

The project suffered what appeared to be a fatal blow yesterday (27th June) when the Welsh Government turned down a ?210m public funding submission for the proposed Ebbw Vale circuit.

Having previously had a former funding plan rejected, the latest submission asked for around 50% of the funding to be underwritten by the local government. In a Welsh Government cabinet meeting it was confirmed the plan had been turned down and an automotive business park is said to be built instead of the circuit.

Responding to the news, a Circuit of Wales spokesperson says project leaders disagree with the decision and still have faith in the project moving forward.

"Along with my team and commercial partners, I am hugely disappointed and saddened that the Welsh Government has failed to support The Circuit of Wales, what would be a game changing development for Wales and in particular the people of Blaenau Gwent," a statement from The Circuit of Wales read. "We strongly disagree with the decision and the rationale behind it.

"We have always believed passionately, and continue to do so, in this project's ability to transform and provide opportunities and hope to one of the poorest parts of the UK, not just Wales. The project is totally defined, finance is in place, and construction and hiring could start immediately.

"My team and I will now analyse the Welsh Government's reasons not to support the development and are actively seeking additional clarification from them. We will then very shortly issue a detailed response before deciding on our next course of action."

In January the project announced a new partnership with sports company Extreme to develop sport facilities, music venues and hotels on the circuit site, but Extreme would not be injecting any additional funding to its business plan.

The Circuit of Wales project - led by the Heads of the Valleys Development Company - had been set to be financially backed by insurance giants Aviva who are potentially lined up to cover to new funding plan changes.

The funding plan was rejected by the Welsh Government as it could not commit to the finance having taken advice from the Welsh Audit Office which reported significant shortcomings with the estimated 6,000 jobs being created - with reports pointing to only 100 full-time jobs.

Speaking yesterday, Economy Secretary Ken Skates said the required public money would hurt its entire budget.

"This represents the same cost as building, for example, the planned new Specialist and Critical Care Centre in Cwmbran, 10 schools similar to the new Ysgol Bae Baglan in Port Talbot, or the equivalent of 5,000 new affordable homes in communities right across Wales," Skates said.

The venture secured a deal with Dorna to host the British MotoGP from 2015, but the lack of progress meant a deal was then reached between Circuit of Wales and Silverstone.

Silverstone has hosted the first two years of the British MotoGP contract the Circuit of Wales holds and will be called upon again for the 2017 race, with an option in place for 2018. The MotoGP deal in place for the Circuit of Wales is for five years, with the option of a further five-year extension, which began in 2015.



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