The head of a motor circuit owners’ group has said there had always been an eyebrow raised over building the Circuit of Wales track in Ebbw Vale.

Christopher Tate, a director of the Association of Motor Racing Circuit Owners, said Ebbw Vale is “well outside” the so-called Motorsport Valley in England – where there are 50,000 jobs which he said were interdependent.

Speaking to the BBC over the weekend, Mr Tate said more eyebrows were raised by the association when private investors said they needed the Welsh Government to underwrite the £350 million deal.

His comments follows last week’s news that Aviva Investors asked the Welsh Government to underwrite their entire investment, leading Edwina Hart to call the deal “too risky” and refuse to sign the guarantee.

The project suffered a blow but, following talks, developers said they hoped to finalise a deal for in the next two months.

Mr Tate said: “Right across the UK – not just in Wales – there is not a shortage of empty industrial space at the moment.

“The second [point] is, the British motor sport industry is very much focused on what they call ‘Motorsport Valley’ – running approximately from Oxford up in a loop through Northamptonshire towards Leicestershire and Derbyshire.

“Now, in that area lies 50,000 jobs and they’re all a little bit interdependent.

“So it doesn’t matter if someone had suggested that a new motor racing track be built in Cornwall or in Aberdeen or in Ebbw Vale or, for that matter, in Norwich.

“It would still have been well outside the natural agglomeration of these industries, and that’s always been another reason for the raising of an eyebrow.”



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