Snow is forecast for Middlesbrough – with the submission of a full planning application for the planned £30m Subzero Snow Centre.
The indoor ski facility will be built at Middlehaven Dock on a seven-acre brownfield site next to the Grade II listed clock tower, Temenos and Middlesbrough College
– after some delays, it’s now expected to be completed by 2022.
When it becomes a reality it will be one of just a handful of indoor skiing facilities in the UK, drawing more than two million visitors into the town each year.
A spokesperson for SubZero said: “It is exciting times and we can’t wait to get on with the job in hand and start work on site.
“An outline planning application was approved some time ago but due to an increase in the floor space and boundary changes we have had to submit a fresh new full planning application. The overall planning application has cost in the region of £600,000.
“We hope that the general public appreciate this has been a very complex scheme to pull together. We have had to negotiate on various land transactions with Middlesbrough Council and Middlesbrough College as well as private landowners to provide the overall site boundary.
“It was also necessary to address access. This includes a new access road to the site and a provision of a £10m bridge that unlocks the site for use – and a new road off the A66. In turn that led to many different planning reports having to be submitted.
“In regards to the layout and design we have had to balance the build cost and viability to create a building that not only looks amazing but also fits into a historic site. Thankfully we have the full support of the vast majority of people who have vision and ambition for the town.
“This scheme will bring benefits to the wider Tees Valley. Subzero will boost the local economy, bring jobs and be a landmark building in the region – so no apologies for taking the time to get it right.”
The application will now be in the hands of Middlesbrough Council and a date for the Planning Committee will be set in due course. If approved the anticipated opening date will be in 2022.
Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen said: “I’m really pleased to see a full planning application for Sub Zero has been submitted to Middlesbrough Council. This is a huge step forward and I would like to congratulate Rachael and the whole team who have worked so hard on this project.
“The Sub Zero snow centre will be the only indoor skiing centre in the region, so has the potential to be transformational for Middlesbrough and the wider Tees Valley as a unique addition to our sporting and leisure offering.
“That’s why I’ve backed the project with serious investment, enabling it to move forward.
“I look forward to continuing to work with Rachael, and her team, further as the plans they’ve worked on for so long become a reality.”
Middlesbrough mayor Andy Preston said: “Middlehaven is one of the region’s most important regeneration sites, so the potential for the snow centre is massive.
“It will build on the amazing things already being achieved by The Digital City, and help to drive forward the transformational change that is developing confidence in Middlesbrough and boosting tourism.
“It will of course need to secure the backing of the Planning Committee, but the right combination of top quality amenities and first class architecture will act as a key catalyst for future investment and development.”
The snow centre will have one large building and two small pavilion buildings along with car parking and landscaping such as trees to define the pedestrian route.
There will be a long ski slope (165m), a beginner slope, shops, restaurants and cafés for that all important après-ski, as well as other sporting facilities yet to be confirmed.
When complete Subzero will be a destination that will bring tourists from all over the UK, with a core of visitors travelling from within a 90-120 minute drivetime.
Ross Davenport, of FaulknerBrowns Architects, said: “The building has been designed to draw on the history of the area while creating a modern, contemporary appearance with quality surfaces and seating areas to encourage people to dwell, and appreciate the unique setting.
“The range of leisure and retail uses will create employment and regeneration benefits. And, Subzero itself will be accessible, inclusive, vibrant and provide an active environment for local people and for visitors.”