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Theme park 'the future'
Monday, 12 January 2004





SHEFFIELD is set to get a 'Disney-style' 80 million theme park, regenerating one of the most neglected parts of the city.

Sheffield Ski Village was today putting the final touches to X-Mountain, a leisure complex based on an alpine ski resort.

The complex would create 600 jobs, and ski village bosses say it will be a world first and have trademarked the idea.

Plans are due to be submitted to Sheffield Council at the end of the month for the 30-acre site at Parkwood Springs. Attractions would be built in phases, but the whole park could be open in three years.

John Fleetham, chairman of the Ski Village, said: "Disney is a word we have used we want to create that wow factor and escapism. "This is certainly a world first. It's groundbreaking stuff and we have had to come up with the ideas. "We have applied for a trademark to protect the concept. It's the future in leisure and will be copied."

The park would be based on an alpine village square with streets leading off it to attractions. Special features would include Adventure-mountain an indoor snow dome state-of-the-art rides, a play park for children and a cable car linking the complex to Infirmary Road and Shirecliffe. There would be shops, restaurants, bars, a hotel, apartments and possibly an amphitheatre. Mr Fleetham added: "Hopefully by the end of the month it will be submitted to the council. "It's all subject to grants and there are some very expensive elements such as the cable cars but it is eligible for European assistance as it's a run down area which has had no money invested in it. "We want to create new jobs and boost the local economy."

Yorkshire Forward, the regional development agency, is supportive, and Les Sturch, head of planning at Sheffield Council, said the authority broadly backed the scheme. "We have had some pre-application discussions with the Ski Village. We need to look at the details, as parts of the site are of ecological interest, but we welcome improvements to leisure."

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