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SWINDON could be set for snow all year round.
Sunday, 02 May 2004





A private developer is considering building a vast indoor snow centre in the town featuring real frozen water.

The dome, designed for all kinds of snow-based activities, including skiing, snowboarding and ice-skating, could expect to attract hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.

Swindon Council says it will find out within the next few weeks whether the town has been short-listed as a possible site for the new dome.

Several other towns and cities are believed to be vying for the project.

Coun Justin Tomlinson (Con, Abbey Meads), who is the lead member for cultural services and recreation, said: "A company has said it would consider building the dome and share the revenue with the council.

"There's no way we could afford to buy one.

"But we have the opportunity to get one built at no risk to the council.

"The snow dome would need to attract people from far and wide but, as a logistical centre, Swindon is perfect.

"We are not afraid to talk to anybody and everybody to improve services and we will go that extra mile to attract leisure facilities that give good value."

There are currently only three major snow domes in the country in Milton Keynes, Tamworth. in Staffordshire, and Castleford in West Yorkshire.

The Tamworth-based Snowdome, which features a 170m-long slope, attracts about 250,000 people a year.

Marketing director Gary Baker said it gave people a chance to try sports they might otherwise never get the chance to do.

"It's about bringing the mountain to the people," he said.

But he also warned that undertaking such a project could be risky.

"It's a purpose-built building and if it goes wrong you can't exactly turn it into a bingo hall," he said.

story from This is Wiltshire

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