Ski centre buy-out 'won't block Leisuredome'

PUBLISHED: 09:00 04 August 2012

An artist's impression of how the Leisuredome will look.

An artist's impression of how the Leisuredome will look.

Archant

THE firm behind ambitious plans to create a huge indoor sports centre on the outskirts of Weston says it remains committed to the plan – despite agreeing a big-money buy-out of a similar business in Gloucestershire.

OpalTec International has already won planning permission for a Leisuredome development at Locking Parklands.

The blueprint includes a host of leisure and pleasure options, all built around a 210m ski slope centrepiece, which will be the longest in the UK.

The people behind the scheme say they want to make Weston a national centre of excellence for the sport.

This week, OpalTec splashed out to buy another ski centre further up the M5 – but operations director Clive Hamilton-Davies says this will not impact on the Weston plans.

He told the Mercury: “We are delighted to confirm that OpalTec International Ltd have bought Gloucester Ski And Snowboard Centre.

“The move further cements the organisation’s interest in developing snow sports within the region, while strengthening their position to continue to progress the Leisuredome project in Weston.

“Leisuredome remains at the heart of the entrepreneurs’ plans.”

And the firm says two thirds of the partner tenants it needs to secure to make Leisuredome happen have now signed up.

Paperwork is still being completed and further investment sought, but despite the slow progress, the development will go ahead.

Mr Hamilton-Davies added: “We have been optimistic about timescales. The depth of some of the legal issues raised during negotiations with tenants and consultants has taken considerably longer than we first envisaged.

“The process of converting Heads of Terms into Agreements to Lease has also extended the project timeline.

“However, things are progressing very well and we now have over 65 per cent of tenants in place, including Subway, SoHo Coffee, Ellis Brigham, Angelberry, Butcombe Brewery, Avalon Leisure, Tiny Tearawayz and Tog 24.”

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