Somerset

UK's longest indoor ski slope plans for Weston

Model of the proposed snow centre
Image caption The centre would also house the UK's tallest climbing wall

Plans for the UK's longest indoor real snow ski slope have been unveiled in Weston-super-Mare.

If the plans by developers LeisureDome are approved, the £50m snow centre would be the first in the South West.

The 210-metre slope at Locking Parklands would be 40 metres longer than the one in Milton Keynes. It would also include an indoor surf centre.

A public exhibition is being held at Weston Football Club until 2000 BST on Thursday.

Plans for the centre also include the country's tallest climbing wall, a freefall centre - simulating a sky diving experience - and a skateboard and BMX park.

The former RAF Locking site has been identified by North Somerset Council as a regeneration opportunity.

'Tourism benefits'

LeisureDome's director, Clive Hamilton-Davies, said the centre had the potential to attract more than 500,000 visitors in its first year of opening.

It is also anticipated 583 jobs would be created.

"The development will not only attract those interested in the activities on offer, but will also generate wider associated tourism benefits for Weston-super-Mare," he said.

"Working with existing attractions like the pier, LeisureDome will extend the length of time visitors stay in the town. This in turn will help to increase the income from tourism."

Simon Gregory, the council's economic development service manager, said: "For North Somerset to be attracting this type of proposal is more evidence that our area is on the up and businesses are seeing the investment potential of the area, especially at a time when the economy generally continues to struggle.

"We understand planning proposals will be submitted to us in the next couple of weeks, which will provide the opportunity to fully consider the plans for this development."

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