Plans for ambitious £50m leisure scheme unveiled

An Active Lifestyle Resort is being built on an 800-acre reclaimed former surface mine site near Widdrington' A similar resort in France
An Active Lifestyle Resort is being built on an 800-acre reclaimed former surface mine site near Widdrington' A similar resort in France

Ambitious plans for a pioneering £50million leisure and tourism resort which will create up to 700 jobs have been unveiled.

The UK’s first Active Lifestyle Resort is planned for an 800-acre reclaimed former surface mine site near Widdrington, and will offer a range of high-quality holiday packages and day-visitor attractions.

An Active Lifestyle Resort is being built on an 800-acre reclaimed former surface mine site near Widdrington' Sketch of the proposed snowpark.

An Active Lifestyle Resort is being built on an 800-acre reclaimed former surface mine site near Widdrington' Sketch of the proposed snowpark.

The short-break adventure park will boast a 50-acre lake, snow slopes, mountainbike trails, indoor climbing wall and the UK’s biggest treehouse adventure playground, among other things.

Accommodation in a four-star luxury holiday village will range from 100 camping pods to 400 two, three and four-bed ecolodge holiday homes, as well as staff and visitor apartments.

A hub at the centre of the resort will house restaurants, coffee shops, bars and cafes and specialist retail outlets, as well as an enterprise emporium.

It is predicted that the new resort will attract an estimated 300,000 day visits and 350,000 paid nights’ accommodation per year and create up to 700 all-year-round full and part-time jobs.

A planning application for the initial phase – the new land formation resulting in the UK’s first man-made adventure slopes – is being lodged with Northumberland County Council within the next two weeks. A full application for the entire resort will follow next year.

The resort, scheduled for opening in summer 2015, is the brainchild of entrepreneur Chris Davies, who said: “After years of planning, it is exciting to reach the stage where the ambitious dream is about to become reality. My vision is to create a holiday destination site with a difference.”

The resort is one of a number of developments planned for the former UK Coal site by its subsidiary Harworth Estates and industry partners.

This regeneration scheme was formerly known as the Blue Sky Forest project. A nine-turbine windfarm has recently been approved at the site.

Public consultation events take place 10am to 3pm on December 1 and 2 at Chevington Community Centre, Hadston.