Minister Announces Funding Support for Wales Rally GB
Last year’s Wales Rally GB was one of the most successful on record, providing the region with a multi-million pound boost, attracting thousands of spectators and watched by 600 million viewers world wide.
The interim results have been warmly welcomed by Economy Minister Edwina Hart who today announced funding support for the Rally for the next two years with the aim of replicating this success.
The Minister said: “Wales Rally GB is one of our flagship events which gets worldwide coverage so I am particularly pleased that efforts to revitalise the event and attract more spectators and entries are paying off.
“The people of North and Mid Wales are incredibly supportive of the event and local authorities and businesses have all reported increased economic activity in the area due to the Rally. We want to maximise the benefits coming to Wales and build on this momentum which is why I have agreed in principle funding for Wales Rally GB over the next two years.”
The Welsh Government will provide up to £1.5m per annum to support the staging of the Rally in 2014 and 2015, subject to evaluating the impact of the events against agreed targets.
Andrew Coe,Chief Executive of Rally organiser International Motor Sports, said: “We are, of course, absolutely delighted for the on-going commitment from the Welsh Government. The move to a new base in north Wales really revitalised the event in 2013 and we are already making exciting plans to build on that success with an even bigger and better Wales Rally GB in November.
“What’s more we now also have the fillip of a top Welsh driver, Elfyn Evans, competing in a front-running world championship team and that’s another major boost both for Wales Rally GB and the sporting scene in Wales.”
The Minister said the Welsh Government will also support an automotive conference and student industry awareness day in 2014 and 2015 to run alongside the Rally and a reprint of the Motor Sport Directory to promote Welsh businesses in the sector.