By Kate Madley
Blaenau Gwent Council says the Circuit of Wales, the new race track which was given the go-ahead this week (10 July), will be a ‘go to’ destination on the international stage.
Planning approval for the 830-acre site in Ebbw Vale was unanimously granted by councillors and the development is set to be the UK’s largest ever privately led capital investment programme in motor sport-related infrastructure.
Construction is due to start in late 2013 and will be delivered by the Heads of the Valleys Development Company Ltd. It is estimated that some 750,000 people will visit the facility each year and it is expected to generate £50m per annum for the UK economy.
An estimated 3,000 new jobs will be created during the construction phase of the track, and up to 6,000 new jobs once the development is complete.
“The Circuit of Wales is a world-class development which will truly transform Blaenau Gwent and the local economy. Not only this, but it will put us on the world map,” said a council spokesperson.
“The benefits to the area are numerous, not just in terms of the tourism opportunities but also the international inward investment we can now attract.
“It is a massive project to undertake but the benefits for us all are huge. There will be the creation of thousands of jobs when the circuit comes into operation plus the development of engineering, science and technology businesses.”
Circuit of Wales is designed to host international motor sport events and will be a centre for motor sport-related industries. It will include a 3.5-mile track that takes advantage of the unique topography of Ebbw Vale, a Motocross track, an international karting track, as well as off-road driving facilities.
“We are looking to the future and that future is bright,” continued a council spokesperson. “For so long, the heads of the valleys have needed sustainable investment. Building the Circuit of Wales will mean an extra £50m a year for the local area and transform Blaenau Gwent into a fantastic ‘go to’ destination for all motorsport and racing fans.
“We welcome everyone to start checking out Blaenau Gwent now as the investment opportunities here are vast.”
The construction of the international specification motor racing circuit, a hotel and commercial and retail complexes is due to be completed in 2015/16. The automotive park will be one of the world’s leading sustainable developments, targeting the growth of low-carbon industries and events.
It is hoped that the development will also prove to be a hub for research and development companies that are seeking to push the boundaries in environmental technology and energy solutions.