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Construction to Commence on the Circuit of Wales Project

Recent events have confirmed that construction will begin on the Circuit of Wales project, which is worth an estimated £315m, in the New Year.

Advance groundwork is due to start this month, while construction on the Blaenau Gwent site will begin in late February or early March.

The suggested start date comes after the Circuit of Wales project was finally given the go-ahead after its final planning problems were settled in November.

The Heads of the Valleys Development Company, which is behind the project, received approval from the Welsh Government for de-registering over 800 acres of common land on the proposed site last month.

Firm plans are now being put in place to get the ball rolling for the first phase of construction this month.

The Heads of the Valleys has already engaged FCC, the Spanish construction giant, as the main contractor for the project, as well as Alun Griffiths Contractors, the engineering firm based in Abergavenny.

This project will result in the creation of an international motorsport circuit close to the Rassau Industrial Estate, north of Ebbw Vale, alongside a huge 1 million sq. ft. training facility and technology park.

The primary race track is 3.5 miles long and there will be smaller circuits for 4x4, motocross, and karting. Additional plans include motor sports and automotive testing facilities, an automotive training ground, and a driver training centre.

Plans are also in place for a technology park and incubator that supports research, development, and support services across multiple sectors, such as the clean-tech, automotive, and high value engineering sectors.

In addition to two hotels, Chinese firm Hanergy intends to build a 30 megawatt solar park. The intention is for the track to be completed in time for the circuit to host the 2017 British MotoGP, with entire development to be completed in 2020.

The project is expected to create 6,000 full-time jobs, while anticipated visitor totals are in the region of 750,000.

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Alum Davies, who is the AM for Blaenau Gwent, said that 2016 stands to be a “real game changer” in the region. The Circuit of Wales has all the consents and permissions in place for the work to start. He said that the commencement of construction was eagerly anticipated by everyone involved.

Mr. Davies stated that he recognised three main challenges. The first was getting the circuit completed and positioning it as an important part of the international racing schedule. The second was building all the required facilities and creating the circuit as a key piece of Welsh establishment. The third was making the most out of the potential for Blaenau Gwent in particular and south east Wales in general.

He said that he will be working closely from the developers, construction teams, the council, the Welsh Government, and others to ensure that the Circuit of Wales is a world-class track that brings positive results for everyone in and around Blaenau Gwent.

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