The construction of the £315m Circuit of Wales has moved a step closer due to the signing of a five-year agreement with Dorna Sports S.L. to host British MotoGP until 2024. The deal comes with the option of an additional five-year extension. Construction was initially due to start last year by contractors FCC and Alun Griffiths but was postponed due to planning obstacles. The newly built track will host the 2016 race near Ebbw Vale whilst next year’s race will be held at an alternative venue in Britain.
The plans include the construction of a 3.5 mile track, indoor training academy, an international kart circuit, trial venues, driver training venues, a hotel, leisure facilities, commercial units and retail complexes. The facility is designed to host international motorsport events.
Leader of Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council, Councillor Hedley McCarthy, said: “On behalf of the community in Blaenau Gwent, we are absolutely delighted that Dorna is bringing the British Motorcycle Grand Prix to the Circuit of Wales. The MotoGP series is an amazing championship that has provided a stimulant and confidence for growth of infrastructure in a number of similar areas to ours around the world in recent years. We look forward to welcoming the teams, riders, officials, media and fans to Blaenau Gwent.”
The new circuit is located in one of the poorest areas of Wales and therefore qualifies for aid for the purpose of enhancing economic activity. Wales is fast becoming a valuable hub for engineering excellence in recent years with numerous automotive manufacturers based there, including Toyota and Ford.
Chief Executive of the Circuit of Wales, Michael Carrick, welcomed news of the deal. Describing it is a “significant landmark in the development” of the project, he commented: “MotoGP is the pinnacle of global motorcycle racing and expectations within the series and of its millions of fans worldwide are for a truly world class event at iconic and state-of-the-art venues. We look forward to meeting those expectations when we welcome MotoGP to Wales from 2016.”