Leisuredome construction ‘at least a year’ away

The Leisuredome could be a year away from starting

The Leisuredome could be a year away from starting - Credit: Archant

BUILDING work on a new £50million indoor ski centre on the outskirts of Weston is at best a year away from beginning, according to the man behind the project.

OpalTec International has delayed starting construction as the firm is struggling to attract investment for the project.

Clive Hamilton-Davies, one of its directors, said the project currently does not have enough funding to begin building work.

OpalTec wants to build a 210-metre ski slope – the largest in the UK – and the world’s largest climbing wall at its complex in Locking Parklands.

Plans to build a Leisuredome complex on the former RAF Locking site were approved in September 2011 by North Somerset Council and the Government, and it was expected that the site would be open in early 2013.

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Mr Hamilton-Davies said: “We are still trying to find the funding. We are working with North Somerset Council and the local enterprise partnerships.

“We can confirm we are still going ahead with it and all the tenants are still onboard.”

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The Leisuredome currently has nine companies signed up to the project, including Subway, Ellis Brigham and Butcombe Brewery.

A spokesman for Subway reiterated the company’s ‘full support’ for the scheme this week.

Mr Hamilton-Davies said that if everything ran smoothly and enough investment was found in the next two to three months, construction of the complex would likely begin at the end of this year or early in 2014.

Concerns were raised over OpalTec’s commitment to the ski centre last year when it invested in another centre in Gloucestershire.

But Mr Hamilton-Davies reiterated the firm’s intentions to bring a world-class facility to the Weston area.

He said: “It means everything to Weston. It will make it open the town to another kind of visitor.

“It will be great for the local economy and create about 1,500 jobs.

“We are doing everything we can. We have invested a lot of money in it and we aren’t prepared to see it go sailing down the river.”

The Leisuredome, which also will have a gym, children’s play area and indoor surfing and sky-diving facilities, aims to attract 550,000 visitors to it each year.

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