Belgium lands a Grand Prix!

The 2006 Belgian Grand Prix has been cancelled but, in an effort to improve the picture, the regional government of Wallonia has agreed a deal to secure the long-term future of the event. This will cost the government $7m a year in direct financial aid for the five-year term of the deal.

In addition the government will provide $2m in sponsorship. Ecclestone will run the event although there is believed to be a clause which means that the deal can be revised after three years. The deal has yet to be voted through by the Wallonian Parliament but that should be done shortly. The alternative is to lose the event and to have to pay Ecclestone a considerable sum of money in compensation for breaking the original contract by failing to stage the race this year. The government will also fund a major rebuilding programme at the track which will take place before the race in 2007.

The deal is still considered to be a good one for the region which hopes to use the event to attract tourism and to create a more dynamic image for what is a rather stagnant economy.

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