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SBD Global/August 15, 2014/Facilities

Wales To Host MotoGP At New $530M Circuit Of Wales Racetrack In Blaenau Gwent

A five-year deal has been signed to "bring motorcycling's British MotoGP" event to Wales, according to the BBC. The event will be held at the new £315M ($526M) Circuit of Wales racetrack in Blaenau Gwent, which has yet to be built. Land near Ebbw Vale "will be transformed into the Circuit of Wales to host all but Formula 1 racing." Next year's event will "take place elsewhere in Britain but it is hoped the circuit in Ebbw Vale will take on the remaining four years." There is "also an option for a further five years" (BBC, 8/13). In Newport, Caio Iwan reported the $526M Rassau-based racetrack will host the event from '16 but its developers will "have the right to promote it and choose a location for next year's Grand Prix." Circuit of Wales will be the U.K.'s first "high-tech, low-carbon motor racing facility." The 830-acre complex aims to attract an "estimated 750,000 visitors a year," generate £50M ($83M) per year for the U.K. economy and "create at least 4,000 full-time jobs" (SOUTH WALES ARGUS, 8/13). In Cardiff, Martin Shipton reported "it has been suggested that the racetrack and ancillary developments will create 6,000 jobs and bring 750,000 visitors to the area, although experts have cast doubt on the claims." The Circuit of Wales project is "being taken forward by the Heads of the Valleys Development Company." Heads of the Valleys CEO Michael Carrick said that grants from public bodies would account for "less than 10%" of the project's cost. Carrick said that "at this stage he could still not reveal details of private investors." Carrick: "I am flying around talking to potential investors. Today's announcement is very important for us" (WALES ONLINE, 8/13).
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