£50million leisure resort plans to go on show to public

The company behind plans for a £50million leisure project, which could create up to 700 jobs, is holding a consultation event later this month.

Active Leisure Resorts is in the final stages of drawing up an application for a holiday village and adventure park for the former Steadsburn opencast site near Widdrington.

It includes creating the UK’s first artificial adventure slope for climbing, caving and gorge walking, an artificial ski slope with luge track and jumps, 50-acre lake, off-road driving courses and the biggest treehouse adventure playground in the country.

There would also be a leisure hub with swimming pool, equestrian facilities, a retail centre, 400 eco-holiday homes and 100 camping pods.

Active Leisure chief executive Chris Davies said: “The plans are a lot more advanced now. We are moving from concept to reality. We could be ready to submit a detailed planning application by the end of February.”

The scheme would cover almost 800 acres of the 2,500 acres at Steadsburn, Maidens Hall and Stobswood opencast sites identified by the Widdrington Regeneration Partnership (WRP) for leisure re-development.

A Peel Energy windfarm was approved as the first phase of regeneration, with the Active Leisure element forming Phase 2.

But, it will not deliver the championship golf courses, football academy, five-star hotel or multi-sports centre originally envisaged by the WRP.

Mr Davies said: “We have got 800 of the 2,500 acres so our focus is on delivering an active lifestyle resort.

“The golf courses and other projects were proposed by other people and the landowner is looking to attract additional developers.”

The consultation event takes place at Widdrington WI Hall on Friday, January 24, from 2pm to 7pm, and on Saturday, January 25, from 11am to 6pm.