Plans for what could be the UK's seventh, and most southerly yet, indoor snow centre – have been approved by planners.
Work on the complex, which has been mooted for more than five years, is now expected to begin next spring, with a two-year construction period giving a likely 2021 opening date …some 12 years after the last centre opened in Britain in Hemel Hempstead.
And it's the operators of The Snow Centre in Hemel Hempstead which will run the new facility as their second operation.
The brand-new snow centre will feature two indoor real snow slopes on 15,800 square metres of indoor snow space; a 170m Main Slope, 75m Lesson Slope, and a designated fun zone for sledging and snow play. Like its sister site, The Snow Centre Swindon promises to offer Lessons and Lift Passes for kids and adults looking to master their skills on 1 plank or 2. However, it will also welcome families and shoppers to the slopes for snow fun during their visits to other attractions within the 500,000 sq ft leisure, dining and retail destination—set to be one of the largest in the UK.
An indoor snow centre was first proposed for Swindon more than five years ago by a developer called Maori Capital who took over operation of the town's Oasis Leisure centre announcing grand plans which did not come to fruition. More recently a company called SevenCapital have taken over in partnership with several well-known names in the indoor snow centre world, including architects Faulkner Browns who have designed most of the six existing British centres, so it does look like this time it will happen.
The Swindon Snow Centre will be located alongside a 13-screen cinema, including the largest IMAX screen in Europe, 19 lane bowling alley, a trampoline park, a gym, shops and the existing Oasis Leisure centre, The Snow Centre Swindon is part of a £270m project lead by property development and investment company, SevenCapital.
John Watkins, director at SevenCapital said: "We're thrilled with the decision to grant full planning approval for the North Star Village. Since taking on the project in July 2017 the team has worked tirelessly to deliver on our promises to submit plans for an exciting regional leisure and retail destination that Swindon and the wider UK will benefit from significantly. We have delivered on all our planning promises and are now looking forward to getting on site and bringing those plans to life."
The Snow Centre MD Ian Brown added: "We are delighted to be able to open a second real snow indoor slope and look forward to building on the success we've seen at our existing centre in Hemel Hempstead. A few opportunities for new ski facilities have presented themselves over the last few years, but for various reasons have not progressed beyond ideas. Swindon is a great location and we are thrilled that SevenCapital have been able to make this a reality."
The only thing that might stop it being the seventh is if another proposed new indoor snow centre, the proposed Cool Runnings centre in Middlesbrough, is built first, in which case it would be the eighth.