Published January 31, 2019 at 12:38
A little bit of Switzerland has come to Rossendale with the opening of the café bistro at The Hill – the Home of Ski Rossendale.
The development at the former Council-owned slope has led to a café and a rooftop terrace offering seating for 94 people in total with stunning views of the slopes and the hills. It is scheduled to open for February half-term.
It has also created a new and much larger ski hire area including changing rooms with a larger reception area to accommodate visitors to allow them to get kitted out in comfort with direct access to the slopes.
The new building has been sympathetically clad in wood so it complements the existing buildings and creates an Alpine feel.
Two of the directors of The Hill Sue and Steve Foulkes have personally invested £275,000 since the social enterprise was set up in 2011.
The new building has been in the planning since 2014 and it was the first ever time that Sport England had provided a grant to refurbish facilities.
The total project cost, including improvements to the beginner and improver slopes, will be more than £700,000 with the majority of money provided by a Sport England grant being delivered in partnership with Rossendale Council.
The Hill is one of the biggest and best dry ski slopes in England and now we have facilities that the public expect and we feel it is a worthwhile investment.
Rossendale Council provided significant investment in the project including Section 106 money from the housing development on the former Rossendale Hospital site – money that had to be spent in Rawtenstall.
Rossendale Councill leader Councillor Alyson Barnes said:
It is extremely exciting because we rarely get to see this kind of investment going into tourism activity in Rossendale.
This development means The Hill is able to offer even more to people who live in the Valley and around Lancashire and makes visiting Rossendale even more exciting.
Rick Madden, from Ramsbottom, visits The Hill every week with his children Max, six, and Cooper, seven, who attend the Saturday morning ski club.
The new bistro is outstanding and adds to the experience. I always like that it looks like a ski resort because of the buildings.
If children want to learn to ski then bring them here; it is ridiculously cheap when you consider that it includes all equipment hire and instruction from caring staff.
My children have tried other clubs, football and karate, but they have not stuck to them.
I love it here. I first came to Ski Rossendale in 1999 and I have been to the Chill Factore but it is crowded, really expensive and far away. This is right on our doorstep.
The council’s Chief Executive Stuart Sugarman was full of praise for the regeneration of the slope saying it was the facility that put Rossendale on the map in the first place when it opened in 1973.
In terms of visitor and tourist attractions this will offer so much more and that will bring additional income into the borough.