01 April 2015 Last updated at 01:23
Work to start on £500m Circus of Wales
2,000 acres of beautiful open land near Ebbw Vale will be transformed into the £500m Circus of Wales to host all kinds of international acts. The project will include a massive circus ring, off-road driving facilities, a hostel and a complex leisure complex.
Work on the Circus of Wales will start before Christmas if someone on the local council says OK.
Lewis Jones Lloyd, Head of the Head of the Valleys Company said: “We envisage our construction partners O’Hara Groundworks being on site very soon.” He added: “The Circus of Wales will be more successful than even I can imagine.”
Lloyd Jones Lewis, Circus of Wales CEO, said: “Sustainability is at the forefront of everything we do not only now but for our children and their children’s children. Future proofing is a given.”
Lewis Lloyd Jones, Head of Sustainable People Development, said the scheme had reached a “huge milestone”, adding “this means we are now a major step closer to delivering a sustainable and vibrant future for the people of the Valleys, their children and their children’s children”.
As part of the deal, the Head of the Valleys Company has committed to a total of £200m for the community to spend as they wish and £100m a year to help local people to continue their traditional workless lifestyles. The company has agreed in principle with Natural Resources Wales to enhance biodiversity including facilities for travelling people, fly tipping and a wild pony population.
The first phase of the Circus of Wales will be the construction of a state of the art circus ring designed to host international events and a centre for circus-related industries such as horse trading, drug smuggling and people trafficking.
Professor Garage Rhys of the Welsh Automaton Forum, commented: “Inward investment, Ford, Jaguar, entrepreneurship, 1970s, price to pay, enterprise zones, hit the ground running, economic hotspots, good multiplying effects, WDA, those were the days, Brynglas tunnels, better links to motorways, GDP, value added, multipliers, when I was a boy…” He added: “I could go on…”
A fund of £100m will be given to the community to fund artworks for the Circus of Wales. Viarde Stärcke, of Creative Urban Rendition, explained: “I welcome the opportunity to engage local people in mucking around with recycled waste to create community based legacy artworks that will kickstart a vibrant and sustainable people focussed environment for people”.
Welsh composer Karl Jenkin is writing a symphony for the Circus for Wales inspired by a 19th century bardic ballad ‘Y Clowniau Cymru’. The world premiere will be performed at Ebbw Vale’s Beaufort Theatre & Ballroom. Mr Jenkin said: “I am a musical tourist. Like the Circus of Wales, I take my influences from around the world and put them together.”
Baron Elis Elis Thomas, revered Welsh nationalist and cultural critic, commented: “I have spoken of nationalism growing out of the bowels of Welsh social democracy, and now I see it bursting from the loins of a circus ring.” He added: “Anything that benefits my beloved Wales is welcome; it is unfortunate that this project does not.”
Jonty Adams, sharp-end, fashionable, avant-garde architect of the Iconic Wales Millennial Centre© and occasional Sir Clough Williams-Ellis impersonator, looked forward to the project sweeping away the tired Valleys communities and replacing them with a National Parks style environment free of poverty and poor transport links.
Cultural historian Professor Dai Word-Smith, Raymond Chandler Chair of Research into Literature and Language, speaking from the bar of Pontypridd Rugby Club, countered with: “God spare me! We need poets!” An old man outside shouted: “Bastards!”
Ardent Welsh Nationalist Leader Reeanne Wood pleaded: “I’m Valleys through and through I’m telling you, I was born in the Rhondda and still live in the street where I grew up and still buy my sweets from the corner shop where my mother and her mother before her bought theirs. The Valleys is where I live and if that Adams thinks he can clear away our lovely old terraces he’s got another thing coming, the thought of it, no matter how far-fetched it may be, fills me with revulsion. The time for inertia as far as the Valleys are concerned is over. Will the people decide now we are not prepared to tolerate this neglect any longer? It’s time to take a stand and fight for our children’s future and their children’s children’s…….”