Investors from around the world are being invited to consider taking a majority stake in the business planning to build a £400 million test track and facilities at the former Onllwyn colliery site, near Swansea.
With kick-start funding already in place from the Welsh and UK Governments, the Global Centre of Rail Excellence (GCRE) is due to start construction early in 2023 and will be fully operational in 2025.
The project includes construction of a £250m railway. The total investment for the development, including initial property developments and the traction power supply, is £400m.
Further phases include development of the wider commercial potential of the 700-hectare site, including creation of a new business technology park and hotel.
GCRE has started the search for a Strategic Investor (a joint venture partner) to develop and fund the project to completion, now that planning permission has been secured for the site, which will test trains 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
This could be either a single investor or a consortium of investors, who will acquire control of GCRE Ltd, which is currently wholly owned by the Welsh Government.
A formal procurement process has begun with the publication of a Prior Information Notice (PIN). The chosen strategic investor will “play a lead role in the project’s successful and timely implementation, along with further commercialisation of the GCRE”, said GCRE Chief Executive Simon Jones.
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