A PLAN to build a multi-million pound racecourse on land between Hyndburn and the Ribble Valley has taken a vital step forward.
The horse racing course is the brainchild of an international business consortium which has financial backers in the Middle East.
If built, it would be sited on fields north east of Altham and south of Simonstone.
If the course gets the go-ahead it would be the first to be built in this country for the past 100 years.
The business consortium also had plans to build a similar facility in Sri Lanka, but has now abandoned a scheme to build one in Shanghai.
And now the consortium which has been having talks with the East Lancashire Economic Partnership and East Lancashire Partnership has narrowed down its options for the site.
Dennis Taylor, chief executive of the partnerships, said: "They are looking at having a number of facilities on the site which would include a five-star hotel with conference facilities.
"They are also looking at the possibility of having a slip-road leading on to the site so they don't clog up the existing roads with people travelling to the racecourse.
"They want to make it as aesthetically pleasing as possible and there will be further consultation about the designs.
"It is hoped that once the plans are in place this will be a real asset to East Lancashire."