Following the expiration of the existing access deal earlier this year, Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and the Motor Sports Association (MSA) have been locked in talks to arrange a new deal to allow access to NRW-managed land for rallies.
With the existing Wales Rally GB route using a large amount of NRW-managed land there was fear that the classic rally could be under threat if a new deal wasn’t made.
“The forest roads we look after have achieved almost legendary status in the world of rallying.” said Tim Jones, Natural Resources Wales’ Executive Director of Operations for North and Mid Wales.
“With more than 84,000 visitors attending this event alone, it is clear that rallying makes an important contribution to our rural economy.
“We hope this new access agreement sends a positive message to the rallying community that NRW and the MSA continue to have a good relationship, and are working together to ensure this important event in the Welsh sporting calendar takes place.”
While Wales Rally GB’s future is secure for the next three years in the new agreement, talks continue between NRW, MSA and Rally4Wales around stage rally mileage charges for other events.
“We are working hard to find a long term solution to the related matter of stage rally mileage charges. We will continue our discussions with MSA and Rally4Wales to find a solution that will allow fans to enjoy the sport, and ensure the forests of Wales are protected and maintained.” added Tim Jones.
Rob Jones, MSA Chief Executive was happy with the new deal and also looking forward to working together with NRW to finalise a deal for the future.
“The new three-year access agreement confirms the confidence that MSA and NRW have in each other, and forms the essential platform for us to continue to focus on mileage charges and the wider partnership between our two organisations.”