Ken Skates MS, Minister for the Economy, Transport and North Wales
I wish to inform Members that, in accordance with the principles enshrined in Managing Welsh Public Money, I have agreed to formally write off monies owed in respect of the ‘Circuit of Wales’ project.
In respect of the Circuit of Wales, having instructed officials to make every effort to claw back outstanding monies, and at the same time, look at potential possibilities to continue with the project, I have agreed to writing off two invoices in the sum of £14.9 million. These invoices relate to the agreeing of a guarantee to Santander Bank for the provision of a loan to Heads of the Valleys Development Company to enable the development of the Circuit of Wales motor racing circuit (COW) in Blaenau Gwent. Members may recall that it transpired the company was unable to secure the commercial funding to develop the circuit and so, the project did not progress.
I have also agreed to write off the interest payable on the guarantee fee and the relevant legal costs relating to the overdraft arrangement and for appropriate arrangements to be made to reflect this in Welsh Government accounts, given that I am now advised the recovery of interest is very unlikely.
Members will wish to note that a claim remains lodged with the Administrator of the Creditors Voluntary Arrangement of HOVDC, on behalf of the Welsh Government and that the formal writing off of the debt in the Welsh Government accounts does not prohibit the recovery of any monies receivable.