“The report does not directly examine the conduct of individuals or entities connected with the project. However, during the course of the audit work, and in response to concerns raised with the Auditor General by a Member of Parliament, certain payments were examined to establish whether they involved the use of public funds. It was established that these payments did not constitute the use of public funds.”
Wales Audit Office: The Welsh Government’s Initial Funding of the Circuit of Wales Project
Extract: Press release Thursday 27 April 2017
The Welsh Audit Office Report: The Welsh Government’s Initial Funding of the Circuit of Wales Project
Media statement attributable to a Heads of the Valleys Development Company Spokesperson:
Thursday 27 April 2017
“We welcome the publication of the Welsh Audit Office report: this report represents a clean bill of health for the Circuit of Wales (CofW) team, our plans and the project and shows that our Directors have been completely exonerated of the false claims made over the misuse of public funds.
“The report shows that we have always operated within conventional commercial practices, ordinary company activity and standard accounting processes and, where the specific Welsh Government loan is concerned, very carefully adhered to and implemented advice on spending eligibility provided by the Welsh Government’s relevant officials.
“CofW has at all times been fully transparent, open and clear in its engagement with the Welsh Government. It has assembled a very senior management team with an impressive track record in major infrastructure, regeneration and automotive focused projects, whilst retaining the support of world class organisations to deliver what will be a vibrant location for business, sports, leisure, culture and the arts.
“With this firmly behind us, we are ready and raring to go to deliver thousands of important jobs, exciting events and valuable visitors to south Wales.
“It is impossible to underestimate the importance of the Welsh Government loan funding. It was vital during the extended development phase and played a critical role in encouraging private sector partners to invest substantially in CofW. Such supportive funding, which will be paid back with interest at financial close, has been crucial in encouraging the private sector to invest and without it our project would not be ready and able to deliver thousands of much needed jobs in the Blaenau Gwent area.
“The money we received from Government has levered over £425m of unparalleled, premium private investment. This is the most significant private investment programme in this region for 50 years and one that, when up and running, will inject £50m into the Welsh economy every year.
“This £425m is made even more valuable by the enormous potential it unlocks. Once the Circuit is up, running and successful, our achievement will inevitably inspire additional investor confidence, undoubtedly attracting further, vital investment into all parts of Wales.
“We have proven that the money is all in place. We remain in confirmatory due diligence with the Welsh Government and its advisors and, once we receive a positive decision, will move forward with construction in the very near future.
“We encourage all parties to now get firmly behind the development that will provide another key building block in the resurgence of the South Wales UK automotive sector, deliver visitor numbers of 750,000 a year, create thousands of independently validated new jobs, and transform the economic future of the South Wales valleys.”