Developers behind plans for a motor racing track in Blaenau Gwent have said councils in the area are “fully on board” with the plan.

The Welsh Government will announce later today whether it will support the construction of the £375m Circuit of Wales (CoW) near Ebbw Vale.

The company wants Welsh ministers to underwrite half the cost.

The plan also involves Blaenau Gwent and Monmouthshire councils providing loans of £90m.

On Monday, Monmouthshire council leader Peter Fox said there was no guarantee the local authorities would agree to that.

But CoW chief executive Martin Whitaker insisted both councils were “fully on board”.

“We have a fantastic working relationship with the councils,” he said.

“Blaenau Gwent stands to benefit significantly, as does Monmouthshire. They are fully on board with the plan. They’ve been very supportive.”

If the Welsh Government agreed to underwrite half of the total cost, which would not come into effect until the project was completed, it would be paid £3.8m a year for 33 years.

Economy Secretary Ken Skates will make a statement in the assembly on the decision later.

In April, Mr Skates’s predecessor Edwina Hart rejected a previous plan which involved the taxpayer underwriting the entire cost.

Mrs Hart said at the time there was a “significant question around the viability of the project” and an “unacceptable risk” to the government.

But she said a guarantee of 80% of the total value of the project “may have reduced our risk to an acceptable level”.

On Monday, Mr Whitaker told BBC Radio Wales he was confident the Welsh Government would support the new proposal.

“We’re ready to go and we’re certain the government will give us that confidence and certainty,” he said.

 

Via BBC

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