Plans have been approved for the construction of a new indoor snow centre in Swindon. The new facility is the first expansion project by The Snow Centre in Hemel Hempstead, who will be in charge of the operation.
Set to be built within Swindon’s North Star Leisure Complex, the snow slope will span 15,800 square metres, with the piste being 170m long.
As well as the main slope, which will be similar in size to the current 160m slope in Hemel Hempstead, there will also be a 75m beginner slope and a designated fun zone for sledging and games.
Swindon’s North Star Leisure Complex is already home to a 13-screen cinema, including the largest IMAX screen in Europe, a bowling alley, trampoline park, gym and shops. The Snow Centre Swindon is part of a £270 million project led by property development company SevenCapital.
On completion the facility will be the UK’s seventh indoor skiing and snowboarding facility. Chill FactorE will still be the largest in the country, with a 180m indoor slope; other indoor centres include the SnowDome in Tamworth, Snow Factor in Glasgow and Snozone in Milton Keynes.
Two-time Winter Olympian Jamie Nicholls, who is a regular visitor to the Snow Centre in Hemel Hempstead, attended a planning committee meeting on November 27 alongside Ian Brown, Snow Centre’s managing director, where the plans were approved. The Swindon centre is set to open in 2020, 11 years after the Snow Centre in Hemel Hempstead first opened its doors. An estimated 230,000 skiers and snowboarders visit the Hemel slope each year.
“This is an amazing opportunity for even more people to get into snow sports. It will give those living in the South West of England – Swindon, Bristol, Bath, Cardiff and beyond – the chance to get into skiing or snowboarding. I can’t wait to hit the slopes in Swindon with the next generation of snow-sports talent,” said Nicholls.
“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,” said Brown.
Similar to the sister site in Hemel Hempstead, the new facility in Swindon will offer lessons and open sessions for skiers and snowboarders of all abilities. There will also be a new leisure, dining and retail space to house restaurants and shops.
“We’re thrilled with the decision to grant full planning approval for the North Star Village,” said John Watkins, director of SevenCapital.
We have delivered on all our planning promises and are now looking forward to getting on site and bringing those plans to life.”
Winter Olympic bronze medallist Billy Morgan expressed how important facilities like this – and the recently announced Graystone Academy in Manchester - are to future medal prospects for Team GB, ahead of the next Winter Olympics in Beijing in 2022.