SnOasis details revealed

EXCITING new details of the £300million SnOasis project earmarked for Great Blakenham have been revealed officially today.As well creating the world's biggest vertical drop ski slope, a host of other facilities, including a four-star hotel, a disco, restaurants, apartments and 350 chalets are also planned.

EXCITING new details of the £300million SnOasis project earmarked for Great Blakenham have been revealed officially today.

As well creating the world's biggest vertical drop ski slope, a host of other facilities, including a four-star hotel, a disco, restaurants, apartments and 350 chalets are also planned.

This is in addition to a multi-purpose 5,000 capacity ice arena, a train station for the village, facilities for water sports, an 18-hole golf course, cinemas and ten pin bowling alleys.

A wide range of winter sports, including curling, speed skating, tobogganing and cross-county skiing, would also be catered for at the unique facility.

It is hoped this will help it attract international winter sports competitions and bring exposure to the area through television coverage.

Project brainchild Richard Berry, a director of Snoasis and a member of the British Alpine ski team in the 1960s, said the facility could tap into a potential market of 15million users, exploiting the lack of competition in the field.

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"The proposal is completely different to what is in existence at the moment, said the 57-year-old.

It is estimated there are around 4.6million skiers in the UK and the facility would aim to cater for those people while also boosting the profile of winter sports.

The complex would be available as a national training centre for top British skiers, with a particular focus on providing opportunities for youngsters.

Mr Berry said: "One of the great things about this is that we could get schoolchildren coming down to ski and preparing themselves for competition. In this respect, it would be completely unique."

The 120-metre vertical drop ski slope would make it the biggest facility of its kind in the world, 40-metres longer than the current biggest, in Maastricht, Holland.

This is one of the key selling points in attracting international competitions to the area, according to Mr Berry.

A health and fitness centre, a sporthall, a centre of excellence for renewable energy and the world's largest skating museum are also proposed.

The scheme is currently at the supplementary planning guidance stage and a display of the plans is being held later this month.

N What do you think of the new project? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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