A £30m snow centre is expected to be up and running by September next year.

Rachael Howson, of Teesside-based Cool Runnings (NE), confirmed that work on the ski centre, due to be built on an area of land between the Temenos sculpture and Middlesbrough College in the Middlehaven area of the town, will begin later this year.

She told The Northern Echo that after new road bridge and link road are complete by August, the company was aiming to have full planning permission and be on-site, with work beginning by September or October this year.

If that happens the centre is scheduled to be open a year later, in September 2019.

The development will incorporate the ski centre but also soft play, an ice-climbing wall, an arena for indoor sky diving, a climbing wall, trampolines and a soft play are as well as a cafe, restaurant, and shops.

Scotland-based Ice Factor Group, which was founded by mountaineer Jamie Smith, has been chosen to operate the 'snow box' part of the development.

Ice Factor owns Snow Factor Braehead, near Glasgow and Ice Factor in Kinlochleven, near Lochaber, which is an indoor ice climbing.

And like the Braehead site the Middlesbrough centre will have two ski slopes – one for beginners and lessons, and a main slope for more accomplished skiers.

Ambitious plans for the centre moved a step closer ten months ago after Middlesbrough Council's planning committee unanimously approved the application for the seven-acre site, not far from Middlesbrough FC's Riverside Stadium.

Bars, eateries, car parking and a terrace, which looks out over Middlehaven Dock, will be incorporated into the scheme.

Those wanting to take part in snowsports other than skiing can use facilities for sledging, tubing and ice climbing, as well as dry climbing walls.

Miss Howson said the centre was expected to attract people from across the region, as at the moment the closest similar centres are in Glasgow and Castleford, near Leeds.

It is estimated the scheme - the seventh of its kind in the UK – will create about 300 jobs once complete, bringing in over 2.25m visitors to the area.

Developers argue the spin off benefits will be felt across many businesses in the area, from hotels and restaurants through to travel businesses and shops in Middlesbrough town centre.

Snow Factor in Braehead is the longest indoor real snow slope in the UK and incorporates four ski lifts, an ice slide, festive grotto, sledging and an ice bar.

Mountaineer Mr Smith founded his first centre, the ice climbing venue, in a former Victorian-era aluminium shelter in Kinlochleven in 2003.

He flew over to Brussels and personally lobbied 30 MEPs to support his vision, successfully.