Planners approve giant Weston Leisuredome scheme

July 22, 2011

A £50m all-weather leisure attraction planned for Weston-super- Mare, expected to attract 550,000 visitors in its first year and create more than 800 jobs, has gained planning approval.

Based on a 12.7-acre site at Locking Parklands, a former RAF base on the town’s outskirts, the Leisuredome will be one of the largest schemes of its kind in the UK.

It will boast a 210m ski slope, the longest in the UK, and an indoor climbing centre with a 40m climbing wall, the tallest in the world, alongside an indoor surfing centre and sky-diving facility.

It will also support the local community with fitness and meeting facilities, including a children’s centre, BMX skateboard park and gymnasium. More than 570 direct and 250 indirect jobs will be created by the development, which has already secured 92% of its retail and activity concessions.

Behind the development are Leisuredome (UK) directors Mark and Clive Hamilton-Davies, who have combined their business success and personal passion for skiing to create the leisure and sport project.

Clive said: “The Leisuredome has had overwhelming support from the local community, regional business and sports clubs from further afield.

“This decision is a major economic and leisure boost for the West Country and for the town of Weston-super-Mare. It will deliver employment-led regeneration in an area where there is long-term unemployment and provide a direct investment of £50m to the town.

“Our development will build on Weston’s growing reputation as a leisure destination and the success of the Grand Pier, which reopened last year. We estimate it will attract 550,000 visitors in the first year, which will add to the £369m already generated by tourism in the local economy every year.”

Building work could start as early as December, with an openning in early 2013. Sir Robert McAlpine will be the main contractor.

Following planning approval from North Somerset Council yesterday the application now goes to the Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government for review before final approval.

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