THE Circuit of Wales is dead.

After nearly six years of false hope, broken promises and damning reports, the Welsh Government finally slammed a stake in the heart of the £425 million project and buried it six feet under yesterday by turning down a third proposal, after spending £9.3 million of taxpayer’s cash on it.

Instead they’ve promised a new automotive technology business park, as well as a depot for the South Wales Metro, if that ever materialises, elsewhere in Ebbw Vale.

Not quite as glamorous as an all-singing, all-dancing racetrack, is it?

The Welsh Government will face criticism for the decision, and in some respects rightly so - the Circuit had been a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel, albeit a faint one, for the people of Blaenau Gwent, who have faced decades of under-investment and broken promises. For the younger generation in the borough this is all they have ever known, with the area’s glorious industrial past little more than a story told to them by their parents and grandparents, no more real than King Arthur or Robin Hood.

Meanwhile opposition parties will rant and rave about the decision, as is their prerogative, but ultimately there’s no getting away from the fact that, in these uncertain times both economically and politically, committing so much public money to such a large-scale project would have been at best risky, at worst downright foolish.

Yes, giving the scheme the go-ahead after such a long gestation period would have been hailed as a much-needed shot in the arm for the Valleys, and might even have had some unforeseen benefits in terms of other investment into the area.

But ultimately, if what the Welsh Government has told us is correct, the long-term costs of the scheme could have been far, far more than predicted while the benefits in terms of employment may not have been quite as significant as expected.

So it’s very, very difficult to argue Carwyn Jones’ cabinet made anything but a financially prudent decision yesterday.

Yes, in an ideal world a big new employer and attraction in the Valleys would be wonderful, but this is far from an ideal world.

I’m not going to presume to speak for everyone in Wales, but as a taxpayer I’d much rather see that money being spent on health services which I could need to keep me alive at some point, roads I rely on to be in a decent state of repair every single day and the schools responsible for making sure every child in the country gets the education they need.

So, no, an automotive technology business park and a tram depot is not quite as exciting as an all-singing all-dancing racetrack, hotels and other facilities.

And it would be understandable if the people of Ebbw Vale took a “we’ll believe it when we see it” approach. But ultimately it could end up being a better prospect for the area.

But the Welsh Government needs to be made to stick to its promise to make the plan a reality.

This must not remain in limbo for six years only to be unceremoniously thrown out.

l It was less of a surprise and more of a relief when the Government announced the Conservatives and the DUP had finally got their act together and signed a formal agreement earlier this week.

It’s fair to say the agreement is a great one for Northern Ireland, which is set to be handed an extra £1 billion in the next two years.

But where does this leave Wales?

The Barnett Formula regulates how much funding each of the devolved nations is given.

But, assuming reports Wales will not be given a single extra penny are true, the new deal makes a mockery of this.

Reportedly, under the Barnett Formula, Wales should be given an extra £1.67 billion under the deal.

But it seems this isn’t likely to materialise.

The same is reportedly true in Scotland, who have proven they are not a nation to get on the wrong side of politically. So it’s possible the news could result in an increasingly divided UK, certainly not the strong and stable nation Theresa May was so keen to promise ahead of the election.

I don’t honestly think the deal will result in the break-up of the UK, but it is going to make things a bit frosty for a while at least.

Of course, it does rather depend upon how long the faux-coalition lasts.

While it’s tempting to suggest we’ll be back in the polling booths within a few months, many, myself included, said exactly the same thing about the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition in 2010, and they managed to hang on for the entire five-year term, albeit with pretty disastrous consequences for Nick Clegg and co.