Circuit of Wales – new track planned in Ebbw Vale

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    Looks like the planning application for the circuit will be coming soon, according to the same MP:

    A planning application for a world-class motor sport project will be kick-started this week.


    Decision on the planning application due next week:


    Fantastic to see they’ve got they’ve got the first stage of planning permission from the local council. This was just posted on the circuit’s website.

    Circuit of Wales has received outline planning permission from Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council following a full council meeting. The project team will commence work very shortly on the detailed planning application, and will make further announcements soon. We thank you all for your continued support.

    A reminder of the planned layout:


    Will this be up to F1 standards? I hope it’s not designed by Tilke either…


    @yoshif8tures I believe Populous designed it, those responsible for the newer sections of Silverstone. All their planning documents are here:

    The layout looks really interesting. One big track, two smaller tracks that look like they can be run simultaneously, and those big, long spectator sky bridges look like an inspired idea!

    Looking forward to watching the BTCC/British GT race here, as I’m sure they will.


    Another view of how the track will look:


    The plans suffered a setback today as the Welsh government has intervened:

    A special council meeting was stopped after four minutes when a letter from the Welsh Government was delivered this morning preventing the council from giving planning permission to the Circuit of Wales.


    Silverstone is unhappy the circuit may receive government funding:


    Silverstone has confirmed the story and released the following statement:

    Silverstone requests clarification over Circuit of Wales funding

    Silverstone Circuits Limited can confirm that it has written to the Prime Minister, requesting confirmation that UK government is not considering financial support for the Ebbw Vale Circuit of Wales project.

    A statement released by the circuit, says:

    Silverstone is fully supportive of regeneration projects and the creation of new jobs, however, when Silverstone Circuit was recently looking for support to secure the future of the Formula 1 British Grand Prix and protect Motorsport Valley – a cluster of motor sport, automotive and high performance engineering businesses at the heart of the motor sport industry sector, comprising 4,300 companies, employing 41,000 people and generating annual sales of £9 billion – the application was denied on the basis that this would be classed as illegal State aid. In the absence of such aid, Silverstone had to sell off assets to ensure the Formula 1 British Grand Prix was retained in the UK.

    Silverstone has been advised that an injection of funds by the Welsh and/or UK governments to the Circuit of Wales project could also amount to illegal State aid, as a transfer of State resources would give Circuit of Wales an economic and selective advantage over other circuits (and developments). There are currently a number of well established, privately funded circuits in the UK, including Wales, that feel that the British motor sport industry would be threatened by the addition of a government funded circuit.

    To be clear, Silverstone has no objection to competition between UK circuits, but it has to be a level playing field.

    Based on its unrivalled knowledge and experience of running an international motor racing venue for over 60 years, it is Silverstone’s view that the Circuit of Wales project is unviable. In 2008, UK motor sport experienced a similar scenario, when a previous management team at Donington Park circuit underestimated the financial realities of hosting Formula 1. A proposed major upgrade failed to materialise due to unrealistic projections and a consequent lack of investment.

    Silverstone reiterates that it is sympathetic to the economic situation in Ebbw Vale, but motor sport at circuit level is not particularly profitable and is often loss making. Many UK circuits are under-utilised and struggle for revenue. It is unrealistic to suggest Circuit of Wales will be the exception.

    Iestyn Davies

    Have to say that I agree with what Silverstone has to say. We’re already struggling to use all the circuits that are available in Britain at the current time – British F3 can’t even visit them all anymore to try and keep costs down.


    Mmm, as much as I’d like to see another international level circuit in the UK, what Silverstone are saying makes sense. Also, Circuit of Wales is a rubbish name.


    Don’t know about a level playing field but that looks like a completely level track! Not much in the way of elevation change, and that’s a shame given the surroundings.


    I don’t disagree with Silverstone at all. They have struggled for years gone by regarding the funds the track needed to make improvements and the government have turned a blind eye to them, I’d like to see this track comme to life but not like this.


    THere is no need for another circuit in this country, regardless of where it is. There are plenty of incredibly good motor racing venues packed onto this relatively small island that could use any money far better with upgrades than building an entire new one from scratch.

    Not that there is any money around do do such things, especially building an entire new circuit from scratch.


    Things are looking serious now – COW has managed to nab the MotoGP British Grand Prix from Silverstone starting from 2016. Strangely they’ve secured the contract from 2015 but, as the track is unlikely to be ready, next year’s British Grand Prix will still be at Silverstone, or possibly even Donington for a one-off race. All seems a bit fishy to me… no sign of the political issues being resolved either.

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