Welsh Government Lacks Transparency in the MotoGP Circuit of Wales Affair

Now, this is definitely one piece of news or at least one rumor we just don’t run into every day. How about your government being accused of secretly funding a future MotoGP circuit in your country? Told you things sound wacky!
Circuit of Wales MotoGP track rendering 2 photos
Photo: Visor Down
Circuit of Wales MotoGP track rendering
Believe it or not, but this appears to be a true story in Wales, where the local government is accused of lacking transparency after a refusal to confirm or deny a supplemental funding worth of £500,000 (€630,000 or $845,000) to the Circuit of Wales (CoW) scheme. The Circuit of Wales is a large-scale enterprise for which the Welsh Government has already approved a £2,000,000 (€2.52 mil or $3.375 mil) loan guarantee which Dorna Sports, the rightsholder of the MotoGP acceptey as an initial payment for a Welsh MotoGP round after the circuit is ready.

Problem is, that local media learned that it would be impossible for the developer of the circuit, the Heads of the Valleys Development Company (HVDC) to have things built, ready to race and homologated by Dorna and the FIM before 2017. And what’s even stranger, undisclosed sources close to the CoW mentioned that the half-million pounds second payment was made “in order for the CoW to retain the rights to own the GB Round of the MotoGP Championship from 2015 onwards,” visordown reports.

The British MotoGP round is held at Silverstone, but the venue’s contract ends after this year’s race, and it looks like the Welsh Government is trying to secure a race on UK soil. Still, with just over 6 months until the 2015 season kicks off, it would take a really cool miracle to see the CoW operational, and this reality seems to have raised suspicions in the local Welsh media.

In case Silverstone renews the contract with Dorna, it is expected that the deal could be a multi-annual one, with rumors having the iconic circuit looking forward for a 5-season deal, which would leave the Circuit of Wales “in the air” for one or two seasons. Even so, maybe the media and other politicians would have been a little more understanding if logical explanations could have been provided.

Instead of detailing the plans for the CoW, the Welsh Government only issued a “decision (which) stated that Edwina Hart, Economy Minister, would provide an unspecified amount of financing for an unidentified project.” Now you understand why people flamed and demanded for detailed explanations, don’t you?

According to the mentioned source, “Conservative Assembly Member, Antoinette Sandbach, said: “Why is the Welsh Government being so secretive about funds going into the Circuit of Wales? This is taxpayers’ money and they should be held accountable when local councils are seeing cuts across Wales. Surely the money is better directed to front line services and not vanity projects.”

Some say that if MotoGP leaves Silverstone, it will also leave the UK, so the guys in Wales would better start building that venue, or we can almost hear the cuffs ringing.
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