PLANS have been unveiled for a giant indoor snow ski centre with real snow in a North-East city.

The multi-million pound development planned for Sunderland’s Stadium Village – surrounding the city’s football stadium – could also house an ice rink, leisure facilities, specialist sports shops, bars and restaurants.

It would be a first for the region and the only facility of its kind between Leeds and Glasgow.

The Stadium Village already boasts the Stadium of Light and the £20m Sunderland Aquatic Centre, which opened last year.

Sunderland City Council’s cabinet will consider the blueprint when it meets next Wednesday. The document, known as a development framework, could then be put to further public consultation.

The development framework suggests the area between Hay Street and the Metro line as the location for the centre.

It is part of a wider regeneration plan for the area that includes other sports, health and leisure uses, new offices, a hotel and housing.

The framework has been prepared by the city council and city regeneration company Sunderland arc.

A first draft of the framework went to public consulta- By Gavin Engelbrecht tion earlier this year and received overwhelming support.

Once formally adopted by the city council, the framework will provide guidance to developers on how Stadium Village should be developed over the next 15 years.

Sunderland City Council leader Councillor Paul Watson said: “It is the ambition of the city council and Sunderland arc to secure a real snow ski centre for the site and the strong interest from developers is very encouraging.

“The football stadium and Sunderland Aquatic Centre already draw in hundreds of thousands of people a year to this regenerated part of the city.

“A unique facility like an indoor ski slope with snow would enhance the great sporting venues already on offer, and play a huge part in boosting the city’s role as a visitor destination.”

Sunderland arc chief executive David Walker said: “There is currently no facility like this in the North-East.

“Stadium Village is a prime location for an indoor ski slope and would position Sunderland as a major sporting venue for the region.”