£13.8 million ski resort Destination Hillend has been approved for Midlothian. Councillors grant planning permission in principle for the ski resort to be built near Edinburgh.
A new all-weather leisure resort for Midlothian comes closer to being realised as Midlothian council granted planning permission in principle for the project. It had already approved capital funding for the £13.8 million project which will redevelop and extend the Midlothian Snowsport Centre at Hillend Country Park.
The plans will turn the centre into a year-round resort with a zipline and alpine coaster added to the existing outdoor slope. If detailed plans are approved the zipline will be the highest in the UK while the alpine coaster will be longest. A large white activity dome will offer soft play and high ropes. A hotel, glamping sites, retail unit and a food court are also planned. A new reception building is included which also cites infrastructure upgrades with additional car parking and the expansion of the access road to two lanes.
“We think enhancing the current facilities with the highest zipwire in the UK, the longest Alpine coaster and the indoor climbing and soft play will attract families from all over the country and beyond,” said Cllr Derek Milligan, the member of Midlothian Council with responsibility for sport and leisure.
A 130m funslope opened in December last year. The ski slope includes three different types of pitches, jumps and other features and is aimed at everyone from absolute beginners to elite skiers.
More than 200 people attended a public event to give their views on the project – the majority were in favour of the resort. Destination Hillend has the potential to create more than 30 new full-time jobs with the council and a further 50 permanent jobs for people working in the food court kiosks, retain unit and hotel.
The council’s decision was unanimous and it believes that investment in the project will generate income going forward. “We’re very excited about the potential leisure and economic benefits an expanded year-round facility at Hillend could bring to the local area,” said Milligan. “Not only would the investment pay for itself, but it could generate additional income that would be invested back into council services such as education, health and social care.”
At present the centre is used as an educational centre for local schools, as well as a venue for public leisure use.