Future of national rallying in Wales secured with new deal

Rallying in Wales has avoided a large cost increase for using roads managed by the Welsh government

Future of national rallying in Wales secured with new deal

A not-for-profit organisation called Rally4Wales has agreed a deal with the governing body in the UK, the Motor Sports Association, and the body responsible for maintaining the Welsh forests, Natural Resource Wales, to repair the roads and cover the costs for doing so.

This was previously done by NRW and supported by the MSA, and doubt had been cast over competition including Britain's round of the World Rally Championship by a proposal to significantly raise fees.

The future of the WRC event was secured when a forest-use deal was struck last month, before terms were reached for national rallying.

While the new fees are yet to be released, Autosport understands that the current rate will remain, plus RPI interest.

"There are still a few details to deal with," said Tim Jones, the NRW's executive director of operations for mid- and north-Wales.

"But we are optimistic that this innovative new approach will enable NRW to continue to host Rallies into the future."

Rally4Wales founder and rallying co-driver Jamie Edwards hopes the move will help secure rallying's future in Wales.

"This is an exciting, innovative new concept to sustainably underpin forestry stage rallying in Wales."

A joint statement read: "Following extensive high level discussions between all parties in recent weeks, a totally new outline concept has been agreed for a deal to allow international and national level rallying to continue in Wales on the Natural Resources Wales-operated forestry estate.

"Rally4Wales will manage a 'self-repair' team attending to the forest roads after each rallying activity, resulting in organising clubs working directly with Rally4Wales to enable repairs to be made.

"It is anticipated that costs will be in line with the pre-2016 forestry charges for at least the next three years."

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