Circuit of Wales racing site on track after government decision
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Circuit of Wales racing site on track after government decision

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Colchester Borough Council
£23,874 to £30,459
location: Colchester Northern Gateway Sports Park, United Kingdom
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The Welsh government has given the green light for a £315m motor racing development, which includes a track, business park and hotels in Blaenau Gwent.

Plans for The Circuit of Wales have moved a step closer after the government gave its final approval to deregister the common land in the Ebbw Vale region of the South Wales county so the development can be built.

The project will take 830 acres of land and was given the go-ahead by deputy minister for farming and food Rebecca Evans. The private developer is the Head of the Valleys Development Company (HOTVDC).

HOTVDC has secured exclusive contracts with private investors, with the rest of the funds expected to come from the Welsh government and local authorities. Backers for the facility will be revealed in the next few weeks.

A 3.5-mile track is set to be built on the site, which will be home to British MotoGP. The development will attract 750,000 visitors per year, and will create 6,000 full-time jobs on top of 3,000 construction jobs – resulting in economic benefits of £50m per annum to Wales.

Evans said the “socio-economic benefits” were a key factor behind the government’s decision, highlighting the “significant public benefit to both the immediate area and beyond”.

Martin Whittaker has been appointed as the Circuit of Wales chief executive and will be charged with turning the plans into a reality.

He will work with HOTVDC chief executive Michael Carrick on delivery. Carrick said he wanted to thank the local councils, Welsh Assembly and the local community “who have supported the project throughout the planning process up to this point”.

“The Circuit of Wales has the ability to generate thousands of employment opportunities, attract greater long-term investment and deliver regeneration into Blaenau Gwent and South Wales,” he added.

In 2013, Spanish company FCC and civil engineer Alun Griffit won the construction contract for work at the site, with designs being created by architects Populous, engineers Arup and Powell Dobson Urbanists.

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