Supporters of the Circuit of Wales project have voiced their disappointment after the Welsh Government rejected a fresh bid for support from developers.
The revised proposals for the £370m scheme were rejected because they do not represent “value for money”, the cabinet secretary for the economy and infrastructure Ken Skates announced.
The long-running scheme, which includes a 3.5 mile racetrack north of the Rassau Industrial Estate in Ebbw Vale, was expected to create 6,000 new jobs.
But the latest proposals put forward by the Circuit of Wales asked the Welsh Government to underwrite 75% of the project, with local authorities underwriting a further eight per cent.
Speaking in the Senedd, Ken Skates said the new proposals asked too much of the taxpayer.
The immediate reaction on Facebook was one of disappointment and frustration, with many residents voicing their concern on the ‘Friends of Circuit of Wales’ page.
Mark Lewis, on Facebook, said “It looks like it did two years ago. A big empty space that will never be filled. Gutted.”
Ivor Beynon added on Facebook: “Maybe it’s time for the business partners involved with the Circuit of Wales to step up and show their commitment to the project.”
Ken Skates stressed that the door remained “firmly open” for another revised proposal and stated that at least 50 per cent of the project should be funded by the private sector.
Chairman of Blaenau Gwent Business Forum Phil Edwards believes the realisation of the CoW deal is slipping through the Welsh Government’s fingers.
“Blaenau Gwent is one of the most deprived areas in Wales and we need this facility,” he said.
“It’s the sort of thing the people deserve and we have been let down in the past. This could be the future for Blaenau Gwent. It could provide thousands of jobs.”
He added: “Seven or eight years ago there was a lot of interest from private investors for the Circuit of Wales but the Welsh Government have dragged their feet on this for too long.
“The ideal situation for Blaenau Gwent would be if the diggers and contractors started working on the site tomorrow.”
Although Brynmawr councillor Barrie Sutton believes some of the proposed employment figures are “exaggerated” he said is still a strong supporter of it going ahead.
“The Circuit of Wales is a private enterprise and Blaenau Gwent council have already invested it to provide the land for the site to be constructed,” he said
“It will be a huge disappointment for Blaenau Gwent if it doesn’t happen.”