The future of the Circuit of Wales has been given a boost by the news that the track has attracted a new business partner.
The Extreme Sports Company have announced plans to put a BMX, skate and surf park, hotels, indoor skiing, trampolining, virtual reality zone, as well as music stages too, on the 36-hectare site near Ebbw Vale. If the circuit ever gets built then the first phase of the Circuit of Wales will open in 2019, with the completion of a bespoke 3.5-mile motorsport track designed by Populous.
Extreme’s aim is to target more visitors to the circuit and that will also be done via the Extreme Sports channel, which is on air across 68 countries, but will not be funding the building work.
In order for the new plans to come into fruition the £425m race track has to get off the ground. There is still uncertainty as to whether the Circuit of Wales will actually be completed. So far the track has not come up with a financial package that the Welsh Assembly Government are happy to support. In 2016 the government in Wales declined to underwrite the entire project, and now developers are working on a plan for the government to underwrite only 50 percent.
“From an infrastructure perspective it is an amazing project and we were looking for the right location and came across the Circuit of Wales. We felt there was a real opportunity to be had,” Extreme boss Alistair Gosling told Bikesportnews.com.
“It is very exciting, and we are proposing to build a whole collection of buildings; from retail, accommodation and food and beverage outlets and there will be usage of the sport facilities too.
“The Extreme Destination and the Circuit of Wales will all be integrated on the site with an ongoing 20 year agreement. The Circuit of Wales are the developer of the project, and we will be in a separate area.”
Extreme is backed by London-based private bank Kleinwort Benson, who in October joined the CoW year as advisers, securing a potential £100m of funding. In addition, if the track is completed it will become the home of the British MotoGP, with Dorna signing an agreement with the Circuit of Wales to host the event until 2024. British car manufacturer TVR is also rumoured to be interested in moving to the circuit.