The Welsh Government is set to continue its support of Wales Rally GB for the next three years after confirming its backing with International Motor Sports.

The British round of the FIA World Rally Championship, Wales Rally GB, has secured a deal extension with the national government until the end of 2018. The new deal is forecast to accumulate around ?10 million into the local economy.

Managing director of International Motor Sports Ben Taylor says he is delighted to secure the backing from the Welsh government and aims to stimulate further growth in the event and reinforce its position as the finale showpiece in WRC.

"Their forward thinking strategy allows our event to deliver around ?10m of economic value to the Welsh economy in addition to a world-class event that brings business, tourism and many other commercial benefits to the country," Taylor said. "The move to north Wales has been a great success in recent years; we can now look forward to building on that platform and implementing exciting new plans to grow the event still further.

"The Welsh Government's extended support for this international event is fantastic news not only for rallying in Wales but also for the motor sport sector in the UK."

The Welsh Economy Minister Edwina Hart is pleased to secure the event for the region and is confident it can attract a wider audience to WRC.

"This world class event continues to go from strength to strength and has developed a strong profile on the World Rally Championship calendar," Hart added. "Developments such as the Rallyfest stages have proved invaluable in appealing to a wider audience, making the sport more open and accessible to all, attracting more visitors and bringing additional economic benefits as a result."

Wales Rally GB is one of only two events on the WRC calendar which has remained a permanent fixture since the championship's inception in 1973. The British event had been based in south Wales for nearly a decade between 2003 and 2012 before relocating to its current location in the north of the country in 2013.

Local WRC star Elfyn Evans, who races for M-Sport World Rally Team, is thrilled to see his home event retain backing from the government and hopes the local support can give him the boost to notch up a maiden WRC victory.

"This is massive news especially for the local economy, Evans said. "Coming from the area I'm fully aware of what having a big event like this in north Wales does for the region. Obviously I'd love to be on the podium and, perhaps, even win Wales Rally GB before 2018."

Reigning WRC champion Sebastien Ogier says he relishes the challenge Wales Rally GB throws up and feels the event is fully deserving of its premier status.

"Wales Rally GB is a historic rally in the championship," Ogier said. "Britain is a country of motor sport, with much history in rallying and Formula 1. We should continue to race there and Wales has fantastic forest roads to drive.

"Of course I will be happy to have Wales staying in the championship, even if it is a hard challenge for me. I have managed to learn it, and win it, now with that experience and I want to do it again."