A £50m leisure complex which will boast the longest ski slope in the country and will be built by Sir Robert McAlpine has won the full support of North Somerset Council.
Councillors voted in favour of the Leisuredome project in Weston-Super-Mare - one of the largest leisure development schemes in the UK - on Thursday. The application now goes to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government for review before final approval is granted.
Based on 12.7 acre former RAF site, Locking Parklands, the attraction will provide weather-reliable and world leading extreme sports and recreational activities all year-round. It will include a 210 metre ski slope and an indoor climbing centre with a 40 metre climbing wall, the tallest in the world, alongside an indoor surfing centre and sky-diving facility.
It will also provide fitness and meeting facilities, including a children’s centre, BMX skateboard park and gymnasium.
Being developed by Leisuredome (UK) Ltd, the new facility is the brainchild of directors Mark and Clive Hamilton-Davies. More than 573 direct and 256 indirect jobs will be created by the development, which has already secured 92 per cent of its retail and activity concessions.
Mr Hamilton-Davies said: “This decision is a major economic and leisure boost for the West Country and for the town of Weston-Super-Mare. It will deliver employment-led regeneration in an area where there is long term unemployment and provide a direct investment of £50m to the town.
“Our development will build on Weston’s growing reputation as a leisure destination and the success of the Grand Pier which reopened last year. We estimate it will attract 550,000 visitors in the first year, which will add to the £369m already generated by tourism in the local economy every year.”
It is hoped that work will commence as early as December this year and the facility will open in early 2013.