Circuit of Wales
|Location||Ebbw Vale, Blaenau Gwent, Wales|
|Length||3.50 mi (5.63 km)|
Circuit of Wales is a proposed motor racing circuit in Blaenau Gwent, Wales with a planned opening in 2016. A joint venture funded by the Welsh Government and private investors, it is to be situated on the A465 road on the outskirts of the town of Ebbw Vale and 18 miles (29 km) north-west of the city of Newport, and is intended to be constructed by Heads of the Valleys Development Company.
The circuit is being designed to FIA and FIM standards in the hope of hosting events such as MotoGP, Superbike World Championship, Motocross World Championship and World Touring Car Championship.
The project was unveiled towards the end of 2011. After submitting plans to Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council, the circuit received unanimous approval of its outline planning and was given the go ahead to begin development in early July 2013, amidst opposition from groups including Gwent Wildlife Trust, Brecon Beacons National Park, Natural Resources Wales and the Association of Motor Racing Circuit Owners. However, by the end of July, the Welsh Government put the plans on hold whilst it reviewed the planning application.
The Welsh Government indicated in August 2013 that the local council would take decisions concerning the project.
It was later confirmed by the developers that construction was due to start around Christmas 2013 and should be completed in 2015/16.
In 2014 the developers asked the Welsh and UK governments to commit up to £50m towards the scheme. While the developers believe that 6,000 jobs would be created, and the scheme has strong local support, there are wider objections on environmental grounds for the developers to address.
In June 2014, First Minister Carwyn Jones commissioned the head of the Welsh Government civil service Sir Derek Jones CMG to head the investigation into whether Environment Minister and local Welsh Assembly Member Alun Davies had breached the ministerial code, when lobbying re the Circuit of Wales. In his report published on 1 July 2014, Sir Derek confirmed the breach of the ministerial code, but Carwyn Jones did not subsequently sack him.
- Liam Moffett (2013-07-10). "Councillors grant planning approval to £280m Circuit of Wales racetrack". Wales Online. Retrieved 2014-02-06.
- "Circuit of Wales gets go ahead". Top Gear. 2013-07-10. Retrieved 2014-02-06.
- "Welcome to the Circuit of Wales". Circuit of Wales. 2013-12-05. Retrieved 2014-02-06.
- Nick Servini (2011-11-21). "Ebbw Vale £200m racing circuit 'could host MotoGP'". BBC News. Retrieved 2014-02-06.
- "Planning documents". Circuit of Wales. Retrieved 2014-02-06.
- "Circuit of Wales race track given go ahead at Ebbw Vale". BBC News. 2013-07-10. Retrieved 2014-02-06.
- "£280m Circuit of Wales plan put on hold by Welsh government". BBC News. 2013-07-31. Retrieved 2014-02-06.
- "Circuit of Wales ‘put on hold’ | MotoGP News | Jul 2013". Crash.Net. 2013-07-31. Retrieved 2014-02-06.
- "Circuit of Wales, Ebbw Vale, in planning decision boost". BBC News. 2013-08-23. Retrieved 2014-02-06.
- "Circuit of Wales, Ebbw Vale: Work to start on £280m race circuit". BBC News. 2013-09-30. Retrieved 2014-02-06.
- "Circuit of Wales motorsports complex plan drives local controversy". The Guardian. 25 May 2014. Retrieved 1 July 2014.
- "Alun Davies breached code by lobbying but will not be sacked". BBC Wales. 1 July 2014. Retrieved 8 July 2014.