Outdoor sports complex to expand - children’s party to be won

Instructors at the newly-named Mendip Snowsport Centre show off the new brand.

Instructors at the newly-named Mendip Snowsport Centre show off the new brand. - Credit: Archant

SKIING, canoeing, archery, assault courses, caving and bushcraft – just some of the activities set to be offered at a new regional hub for outdoor sports.

Congresbury-based Mendip Outdoor Pursuits has agreed a takeover of Avon Ski Centre in Churchill, and has unveiled ambitious expansion plans to make the site a regional centre of excellence for adventure sports.

It will begin by rebranding the 250-acre site as Mendip Snowsport Centre – and then get to work adding new activities and facilities.

In the coming weeks an archery range will be built close to the popular 165-metre ski slope and children’s toboggan descent.

The site’s 100 acres of mature native woodland will become home to a tough military-style multi-terrain assault course, and a remote Ray Mears-style bushcraft site.

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Rock-climbing and abseiling will take place in the hidden 150ft-high limestone quarry, and the site will also become a launching point for caving, climbing and water sports excursions to other locations around the Mendip Hills.

The takeover secures or creates nearly 50 jobs, and Mendip owner David Eddins said expansion will help secure the firm’s status as the region’s premier adventure sports provider.

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He said: “Mendip Outdoor Pursuits is the biggest provider of outdoor activities and outdoor education in the South West, with over 25,000 participants every year. We provide outdoor activities for schools, businesses and for individuals.

“The ski centre is traditionally very busy in the winter season. Mendip Outdoor Pursuits is busiest over the summer months. Joining forces just makes sense.

“We have a stronger, year-round business, which allows us to be much more efficient, provide more great activities, invest in our facilities and finally give our staff year-round security.

“This merger will secure 41 jobs and create eight new posts.”

Planning permission is already in place for an extension to the ski centre’s main building.

That will include a glass viewing balcony offering panoramic views of the ski slope and Mendips, plus a new Alpine café bar, improved party and conference facilities, disabled access and kit rooms. A later development will see a vertigo-inducing treetop course of rope climbs and zip wires.

Mr Eddins said: “We operate to the highest safety standards, exceed the requirements of all our governing bodies, train our staff to nationally recognised standards and pride ourselves on our systems and customer service.

“We will be introducing this ethos and approach at Mendip Snowsport Centre - and you will see immediate improvements.”

* TO CELEBRATE its takeover, the newly-renamed Mendip Snowsport Centre at Churchill has teamed up with the Mercury to offer an exclusive prize for younger readers.

One lucky child will win the chance to take over the centre’s toboggan slope for their own unique party.

The winner will be able to select up to 24 friends – aged between four and 12 – to enjoy exclusive use of the children’s dry-slope.

This prize would make a great birthday party, an exciting cub or brownie night out, or a fun trip for an entire school class.

To be in with a chance of winning, simply answer this question: What is the new name of the ski centre at Churchill?

Click on the link on the top right-hand side of this page to submit your answer.

Alternatively send your answers (along with your name, address, age and daytime phone number) to: Toboggan Party, Weston, Worle & Somerset Mercury, 32 Waterloo Street, Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, BS23 1LW.

Closing date is February 8.

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