South Wales to get new racing circuit for 2015Thu, 11 Jul 2013
Wales, already home to some of the UK’s best driving roads, is getting an all-new purpose-built racing circuit. The 3.5-mile track, to be christened ‘Circuit of Wales’, is due to be opened in 2015/2016, with work beginning on the site later in 2013.Where will the Circuit of Wales be built?
The planned venue will be set in the Ebbw Vale, in Blaenau Gwent, South Wales, around 25 miles from Cardiff. Work is due to start on the 830-acre site once final approval has been granted from Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council to the outfit responsible for the circuit, the Heads of the Valleys Development Company Ltd. The site still needs to be surveyed and an environmental assessment to be completed before work can commence.What exactly will be built at the Circuit of Wales site?
As well as the main 3.5-mile racetrack, designed by the same company that’s working on Wimbledon’s Centre Court roof, there’ll also be a motocross circuit, international-spec karting track, and off-road driving courses. A hotel and leisure complex is also planned – the Circuit of Wales is aiming to host international racing events, track days, manufacturer car development and driving training programmes to encourage and nurture future British racing champions. In an effort to remain eco-conscious, the site will partly generate its own energy.How much is all this going to cost?
The current budget for the Circuit of Wales is £280m for the public-private ownership programme, making the project the largest privately funded investment in motorsport ever seen in the UK. Makes the Nurburgring look like a bargain, with bidding for the beleaguered track set to reach ‘just’ £100m in the coming weeks…Will the new track make any money?
Heads of the Valleys Development Company Ltd. estimate 3000 jobs will be created during construction of the circuit, which, once complete, will reportedly attract 750,000 visitors a year. It’s hoped the Circuit of Wales will contribute as much as £50m per year to the UK economy.
The Chief Executive of the Heads of the Valleys Development Company Ltd, pictured, right, said ‘I’d like to acknowledge the tremendous support of the local community of Blaenau Gwent and the Welsh Government. Michael Carrick continued: ‘We promise to deliver a truly innovative and sustainable business, helping to deliver long-term economic and social benefits for the region.’
By Ollie Kew