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Leisure Park in line for new era
A NEW indoor skydiving and skiing centre will launch the regeneration of Basingstoke Leisure Park, according to borough bosses.
Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council owns the 45-acre leisure park – which is home to 11 tenants including Basingstoke Aquadrome, Bowlplex and Planet Ice – and is expected to start a search for a development partner to help fill some of the remaining 15 acres with new attractions.
Last month, it was announced that specialist company Airkix wants to build a landmark £6million facility on the site. This complex would include a “freefall” indoor wind tunnel, in which the jet of air suspends the gravity-defying skydivers, and a Skiplex indoor skiing simulator.
If it gets approval from planners, the centre would create 50 jobs and is expected to attract nearly 100,000 people a year – and borough council leader Councillor Clive Sanders told The Gazette that more attractions could be on the way.
“This will be the first in a number of new attractions,” he said. “What we want to do is make the leisure park a regional attraction and this is good news for the people of Basingstoke.
“Not only will it draw people from across the region into the local economy, but it will mean we have these fantastic facilities on our doorstep.”
Cllr Sanders said improvements to Basingstoke Aquadrome are also high on the list of priorities to ensure it remains a popular draw for swimmers.
The council last year sought a development partner to help oversee the regeneration of Basing View business park over the next decade, and it is hoped a similar approach can be adopted for the leisure park. The council leases its land to the different groups, which creates rental income.
Cllr Sanders said: “These are exciting times for the town, and it is good for us as a council too.”