The proposals for a £150 million rail testing facility on a former opencast mining site at the head of the Dulais and Tawe Valleys made significant progress this week.
A planning application for the so-called Global Centre of Rail Excellence (GCRE) scheme has been submitted and the Welsh Government has announced £50 million in funding to support the project.
The development is earmarked for a 1,000-hectare site that includes the Nant Helen opencast mine, which is in the process of being decommissioned by owner Celtic Energy, and the Onllwyn coal washery. It straddles the local authority areas of Neath Port Talbot and Powys.
The government has been working in partnership with the two local authorities to develop the complex, which in addition to R&D facilities would feature a 4.3-mile, 110mph electrified oval test track.
It has been confirmed that a £50 million capital funding loan by the Welsh Government for Powys County Council has been approved. Earlier in the year the UK Government pledged up to £30 million funding in its spring Budget