Wiltshire

Swindon's North Star scheme 'going ahead' despite funding delay

Ski Centre Image copyright Seven Capital
Image caption Work on the North Star project is expected to begin early next year

Developers have promised a new £270m leisure scheme is "definitely going ahead" despite a further delay due to funding problems.

The planned North Star site will feature a ski centre, the largest IMAX screen in the UK, and hotel complex.

Developer Seven Capital admitted funding is still not fully in place, but added: "There's no chance that we won't be building the snow centre."

The firm said work on the project is now expected to begin early next year.

The development, which is now planned to open in 2022, has stalled several times.

Image copyright Seven Capital
Image caption The plans include 900 parking spaces

"We haven't quite got the full funding for the project yet, although we are not far off, a spokeswoman for the company said.

"But we are very close to finalising everything and being able to proceed. Once we've done that, then realistically, it's three or four months before work starts, so we could be onsite and working in February or March next year."

'Game-changing attraction'

The company confirmed two thirds of the site had already been pre-let to commercial tenants, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

The project was approved by Swindon Borough Council in November, despite concerns from local residents about traffic congestion.

Dale Heenan, cabinet member for the town centre and regeneration, said: "It has been a difficult six months, and I remain determined the council does what it can to support Seven Capital in making this major development a reality."

"We all want to see diggers on site, but we need to be patient and to give the developer a bit more time to put the building blocks in place for what will be a game-changing attraction that will make our town a great place to live, and a regional destination."

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