Nursery slopes of old dump are perfect for snow centre

It is fairly routine these days to hear captains of the winter-sport industry talk about attracting back lapsed skiers.

Thursday, 14th April 2016, 6:00 am

The theory is that the recession took many skiers out of the market, but that the right inducements – and economic upturn – will bring them back into the fold.

Recent research suggests there are as many as five million people in the UK who still regard themselves as skiers although they no longer actually ski.

The UK ski market has been flatlining since the precipitous decline of 2008-2010 and the best remedy for that is attracting new, young skiers, not former skiers.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

An estimated one million of us have active sliding pastimes, visiting the mountains to ski or board.

So now, as the industry picks up, might be a wise time to invest in building an indoor snow centre attraction in Portsmouth – one of those with real snow, not one offering the dry variety.

It would be a regional attraction, an all-year round draw and have the potential to create jobs, investment and bring a little more kudos to the city.

And it would seem we have an ideal venue in the nursery slopes of the old landfill site at Port Solent.

It is perfectly placed close to the junction of the M27 and M275, there is plenty of land available and there are already some lumpy bits which at least give an impression of hills.

Compare that to the other option mooted by city council cabinet member for sport and leisure, Linda Symes: Eastney. Well, there is no comparison.

She is not specific, but we assume she means the Fort Cumberland area, a corner of Portsea Island which has dreadful road links, is as flat as a pancake and is right by the sea (psychologically good for the surfing fraternity perhaps, but not skiers).

The council should rule out Eastney regardless of land being available, and promote the Port Solent pimples for investors to plough their money into.