NORTH-EAST developers are being encouraged to tender to build the region’s first indoor ski centre.

A developer is being sought to build a leisure centre with a real snow indoor ski slope in Sunderland.

Stadium Village, which is already home to the Stadium of Light and the £20m Sunderland Aquatic Centre, is the proposed location of the ski centre.

This week, regeneration company Sunderland arc published a notice in the Official Journal of the European Union asking for expressions of interest. And although applications are expected from across Europe, companies closer to home are being encouraged to put in bids.

Simon Elliot, property development manager at Sunderland arc, said: “We have already received strong interest from leisure developers and look forward to seeing what proposals are put forward.

“We are particularly interested to find out what other uses potential partners will propose which complement the ski element of the scheme because this will be crucial to its long-term success.”

John Anderson, chairman of Sunderland arc, said the scheme, which would be the only one of its kind between Leeds and Glasgow, would help to establish the city as a regional centre for sports and leisure.

He said: “Stadium Village forms an important part of the city’s regeneration plan.

“It already has world-class sports and leisure facilities, and exciting developments such as the proposed indoor ski slope will cement Sunderland as a regional sporting destination.”

The multi-million pound development could also house an ice rink plus other leisure facilities, sports shops, bars and restaurants.

The ski centre is part of a major redevelopment plan for the area which involves other sports, health and leisure, offices, a hotel and housing.

The uses are set out in a development framework prepared by Sunderland City Council and Sunderland arc, which has been put out to public consultation.

Sunderland Arc is a nonprofit making, urban regeneration company, set up in 2002 to regenerate large areas of the city in partnership with the city council, regional development agency One North- East and the Homes and Communities Agency.

Neil Graham, at One North East, which has funded a number of land acquisitions on the site, said: “This site offers a superb opportunity to create a leisure centre unique to the North-East, in a key gateway location.”

Tender details are available from Simon Elliot, at Sunderland arc, on 0191-568-9880 or email