One of the main contractors building a £315m motor racing track in south Wales has been replaced just weeks ahead of work starting on the project.
Construction News understands that Alun Griffiths, the firm which was awarded the Ebbw Vale job in a joint venture alongside FCC in 2012, has been replaced by Irish-based civil engineering firm Roadbridge.
Alun Griffiths decided to reduce its involvement due to work on pre-existing contracts, though it will continue as a member of the strategic alliance and help with local employment and training, as well as the facilitation of local business into the CoW supply chain.
The news of the change comes just weeks before work is set to start on the racetrack in Blaenau Gwent, Ebbw Vale.
The project has been beset by delays due to planning and finance issues, but Construction News understands that work could now get under way within weeks.
Having come to market in 2011, an FCC/Alun Griffiths JV was announced as the project’s preferred bidder the following year.
Construction had been expected to start before the end of 2013 but had to be postponed after the project failed to win planning permission and struggled for funding.
Last November, the Welsh Government granted final planning permission, after the Circuit of Wales revealed that it had secured a financing package for work to begin.
Circuit of Wales Ebbw Valley render
When completed, the project will include 5.6 km track as well hotels, retail space and a technology park.
It is hoped the project will be completed in time for the UK’s Moto GP race in 2018, with the venue set to host the event until at least 2024.
A spokesman for the contractors said: ”Alun Griffiths Ltd (AG) has recently reviewed their commitment to the Circuit of Wales (CoW).
”Given their current workload on pre-existing contracts a decision has been taken to reduce their involvement in the CoW project.
”All parties have agreed that this is in the best interests for the delivery of the CoW.
”The natural choice to replace AG as the minority shareholder in the CoW Joint Venture is Roadbridge UK Ltd.
””The civil engineering and building contractor is already involved in the CoW project, having been awarded the earthworks and drainage contract for, approximately 25% of the construction costs.
”The share holding of the Joint Venture is now FCC 90% with Roadbridge 10%.
”Alun Griffiths will continue to be involved in the CoW as a retained member of the strategic alliance.”