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Save Montgomeryshire motorsport call

Created on 20/06/2016 @ 08:36
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Following calls from motorsport fans from across the world to save rallying in Mid Wales, a local politician has taken up the fight.

Rallying pumps millions into the Montgomeryshire economy every year, but there are serious doubts about its long term future due to rising road repair charges proposed by Natural Resource Wales’ (NRW).

NRW has recently indicated its intention to almost double the charges to the industry for use of and maintenance of roads. Contrastingly, the motorsport association has in England and Scotland already negotiated the implementation of a modest increase for similar charges of just 0.7%.

A petition has received thousands of signatures from across the globe with the iconic forest stages in our region used for event including the county’s World Rally Championship event.

Local Assembly Member Russell George AM has now asked the Cabinet Secretary for the Economy, Ken Skates AM, whether he would intervene personally in negotiations to agree a new contract between NRW and the Motorsports Association.

The Cabinet Secretary responded to say that he recognised the “iconic profile” of motorsport in Wales and gave assurances that he would be involved in negotiations with NRW over the charges, saying he was confident that a “mutually agreeable compromise” could be reached.

Mr Skates also confirmed that he would consult with the Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs on the issue and agreed to bring forward a statement on the matter in the coming weeks.

Mr George AM, said: “Wales’ tourism industry benefits from forest stage rallying to the tune of £15m a year, while motorsport as a whole brings £3 billion to the economy annually.

“Motorsport is therefore of vital economic importance and the Welsh Government must do all in its power to safeguard its future sustainability.

“The Cabinet Secretary has confirmed he is confident that an agreeable compromise can be reached over NRW’s proposals which will bring some comfort to those in the motorsport industry.

“I look forward to hearing in more detail the outcome of the Cabinet Secretary’s negotiations with NRW which I hope will serve to end the uncertainty and worry currently hanging over the sector.”


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