Silhouette of Teesside


Andy Preston with Stephen Brown of Dodds Brown, advisors to snow centre developers Cool Runnings NE Snow Centre Could Be “Game-Changer” For Middlesbrough
April 10, 2019

Middlesbrough’s proposed snow centre could be a “genuine game-changer” and the public should be positive about its potential, says mayoral candidate Andy Preston.

Businessman and charity leader Preston, who is standing as an independent in the election on May 2, was speaking after it was revealed that a deal to secure land for the snow centre would cost Middlesbrough Council £840,000.

However, independent councillors had challenged a decision by the council to purchase the land at Middlehaven from government body Homes England before selling it onto snow centre developers Cool Runnings NE for the same price to keep the project on track.

But Preston revealed that, following a recent meeting with the developers, he believed the snow centre was “potentially transformational” for the Middlesbrough and that now was the time to be positive about the project.

“The independent councillors are right to challenge the council whenever they have concerns, and I don’t know if the council has dealt with the proposed land purchase in the way it should have.

“But I’m 100% behind the concept of bringing a snow centre to Middlesbrough.

“The potential for the project is monstrous, not only because of its potential direct impact but for the knock-on impact it may have in so many other areas.

“It’s an overused phrase but this one really is a potential game-changer, not just for Middlesbrough but Teesside as a whole.”

Revealing that he recently held an hour-and-a-half meeting with the people behind Cool Runnings NE and their advisor Stephen Brown of Dodds Brown, Preston said: “I wanted to find out more about the project and see what, if anything, I could do to make it happen, either as the town’s mayor or a member of the public.

“My first question was whether delivering the snow centre is feasible because, as much I wanted it to be feasible, I have had nagging doubts.

“Having met the developers, I know they genuinely believe it is feasible and they have definitely done some homework on it.

“My gut feeling is that there is a real chance that this could happen.

“I’m naturally positive and ambitious, so I certainly want to see it happen, and I will do anything I can to make it a reality for the people of Middlesbrough and Teesside, regardless of whether I’m elected mayor or not.

“A snow centre would give the town’s reputation and national standing a colossal boost. It would be a catalyst for a boom in leisure facilities and springboard for business and jobs.

“With those things in mind, I would urge people to be as positive as possible about the project because negative talk can jeopardise potential investments.”

“If people have doubts and negative feelings about the project, that’s fine, but let’s keep them under wraps because I don’t think negative talk at this point is going to help.

“Making such a complex deal happen is incredibly difficult and naturally takes a long time. Making it happen will be a real fight, and the complexity of it make it even tougher.

“So I think we all need to be as positive as we can be to see if together we can make this potential game-changer a reality for Middlesbrough.”

Photograph of Andy Preston
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"I believe in Middlesbrough. Together we can make amazing things happen."
- Andy Preston charity leader, businessman, Middlesbrough mayoral candidate
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