Bristol gearing up for new wintersports centre

The north of Bristol is lining up for a major transformation with plans for a new ice rink, snow zone and skydiving complex at Cribbs Causeway.

One of the most popular retail and entertainment zones in the Bristol area, Cribbs Causeway is already home to a large shopping mall, multi screen Vue Cinema, a Hollywood Bowl and a number of family restaurants including TGI Fridays, Chiquito, Nando’s and more.

The plan of developers Baylis Estates is to develop the location further into a definitive ‘day-out’ destination with a wide range of activities to attract both local residents and visitors. As well as ice skating, skiing and skydiving, the new offering will include a sports store, hotel, restaurant and coffee drive-thru.

A quick look at the South Gloucestershire County Council website shows many letters and emails of support for the scheme which will see the very welcome return of an ice rink after the closure of the one on Frogmore Street back in 2012. Highways England have approved the proposed plans, while The Environment Agency, Avon and Somerset Police have no objections.

The new development is set for construction on a large, vacant site that runs along the southern edge of Merlin Road. On the north side more retail is on the way as The Mall plans its major extension with extra shops, bars, cafes and even a public square, encouraging visitors to quite literally hang around for even longer to enjoy the improved facilities.

When complete, these major redevelopments should elevate Cribbs Causeway into one of the UK’s major shopping and entertainment districts, creating employment, bringing more visitors and delivering wider benefits to the local economy. The ice rink, snow zone and skydiving centre are planned to open sometime in 2017.

The land adjacent to the proposed wintersports centre – the former Filton Airfield which closed in 2012 – has recently been acquired by Malaysian property developer YTL with planning permission granted for 2675 homes and 3 schools, adding a sizeable residential quarter to this currently mainly commercial zone.