Wales Rally GB set to return in 2013

Wales Rally GB is one of Wales’ long-standing flagship events Credit: AP Photo/Tom Hevezi

Wales Rally GB is set to return next year after an 'agreement in principle' was reached between the Welsh Government and organisers International Motor Sports.

Business Minister Edwina Hart made the announcement this afternoon, adding that a review of next year's event will take place with a view to extending the agreement for a further two years.

Wales Rally GB has been hosted in Wales since 2000 but there had been doubts over the future of the event here, with funding cited as one issue.

Edwina Hart said the relationship between Wales Rally GB and Wales' automotive sector 'should not be underestimated'.

Wales Rally GB has significant links with the automotive sector in Wales, which is home to 150 component and systems manufacturing companies. The industry in Wales also employs 18,000 people in automotive manufacturing, retail and maintenance and has an annual turnover of £3 billion.

Meanwhile the Chief Executive of International Motor Sports, which organises Wales Rally GB, said he was 'delighted' that an in-principle agreement had been reached with the Welsh Government.

Wales is a fantastic location for the event, which has been a great success for over a decade. As always, our position within the World Rally Championship remains subject to FIA approval, but this renewed support from Wales represents an exciting opportunity for the future development of our round of the FIA World Rally Championship.