The Circuit of Wales, a £350m motorsport circuit being developed in partnership between Aventa and the Welsh Government, is still on track says CEO of the Heads of the Valleys Development Company Michael Carrick.
“Although complex, bureaucratic and mired in frustrating delays…”the size of the prize is too large to walk away from small challenges””.
One of the most significant capital investment programmes to hit the UK in the last 50 years, the project is comprised of a motorcycle circuit, as well as a huge technology park and an international karting track.
More than just a state-of-the-art facility, however, the Circuit of Wales can boast major regeneration of a large area in the valley.
Carrick, who also acts as CEO for Aventa, said: “I felt the types of projects that were available for investors to support were programmes of investment that actually didn’t contribute an awful lot to our regional growth, our industry development or the UK’s market position,” he says, sipping a coffee and explaining, assuredly not for the first time, the story of how he has come to front such a high-profile, feather-ruffling endeavour.
“We’re doing this project because the types of investment we believe are fundamentally necessary for regional growth in the UK are new programmes aligned to our core industries,” he adds. Aventa has a series of programmes running across the UK, all examples of what Carrick describes as a “new form of partnership between industry, local authorities, regional and national governments, financial institutions and investors”.
“We’ve seen the transition and movement away from the types of public-private partnerships that were common over the last 15 years, which have dealt with social infrastructure – schools, hospitals – and movement away from the economic infrastructure – airports, ports, toll roads, which are not getting built in the UK any more – and a move towards recreational, industrial and economic activity which looks slightly different to the historic infrastructure of the past but have some very similar characteristics. If you can put in place the contractual support packages that allow institutional investors to support those programmes, then you have a very good partnership. Investors like to support regional growth, investors want their money to do more than simply make a return; governments use their enabling role to bring private capital in and we have a significant transformational asset in one of our leading industries, which is positioned for growth.”
For more information and a closer look at the Circuit of Wales’ potential benefits, please visit the Circuit of Wales website.