IT IS NOT a foregone conclusion just yet, but yesterday’s council backing for the £250 million Circuit of Wales plan for Ebbw Vale has moved the project a major step forward.

Blaenau Gwent councillors voted unanimously to approve the plans which represent an unprecedented level of private investment in the borough.

And in our viewthey were right to do so.

This sort of opportunity does not come along often, if at all.

And it is fair to say that Blaenau Gwent desperately needs investment.

The jobs which will come with the Circuit of Wales, not just in the building of this major complex, but in staffing the training facilities, hotel, showrooms and ancillary retail areas are significant.

And in an area which, as we all know, suffers from high unemployment, it is an unexpected and welcome gift.

The unanimous vote illustrates the strength of feeling among local councillors in favour of a plan which would attract hundreds of thousands of visitors to the area every year.

The one possible delay now may be if the Assembly government calls-in the decision following a request from Gwent Wildlife Trust and concern expressed by Brecon Beacons National Park Trust and Natural Resources Wales We would urge the Assembly to leave Blaenau Gwent council to have the final say.

Nobody wants to ride roughshod over environmental concerns but if this plan does not go ahead it would represent a terrible lost opportunity.