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Friday, April 28, 2017

Questions that need answering on Circuit of Wales project

Yesterday's Auditor General Report on the Circuit of Wales project in Ebbw Vale underlined what a quagmire the Welsh Government has got itself caught in.

As the Western Mail reports, there are some serious questions that need answering about the use of public money in this project and whether we are getting value for the investment the Welsh Government has undertaken.

The report questions why the Welsh Government allowed money to be used for projects that weren’t in line with the aims of the grant:

In particular it questioned why:

Altogether the project has received from the Welsh Government a grant of £2m and a loan underwriting facility of £7.33m, which had to be paid to the project’s bank in full in April 2016 when the company was unable to pay the loan.

Economy Secretary Ken Skates is currently deciding whether to provide a further loan guarantee of £210m from public funds, without which the project will not proceed.

Before any more money is poured into this project there needs to be full answers to these questions and Ministers must give us some confidence that this the circuit is deliverable and viable. At present there are real questions over whether it will ever be a going-concern.

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