Midlothian Council puts Hillend funslope plans out to tender

An artist's impression of the proposed changes at Hillend.
An artist's impression of the proposed changes at Hillend.
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A £300,000 chance to design and build a funslope for Hillend ski centre is being offered by Midlothian Council.

The local authority has plans to invest £13.8 million into Midlothian Snowsport Centre to turn it into an all-year-round attraction. And they have put the first phase out to tender, inviting companies to put forward their bids to design and construct the funslope by August 12.

The redevelopment of the ski centre, which has the longest dry ski slope in the UK, includes a promise to create the highest zip wire in the UK and create an activity dome, hotel accommodation, a glamping site for wigwams, and shopping and food retail areas.

Funslopes have become increasingly popular across ski resorts and typically include bends, hills and obstacles to challenge those who take on the challenge.

La Plagne, in the French Alps, claims to have the longest funslope in Europe, which opened in 2016.

Midlothian Council aims to redevelop the Hillend site over the next three years and sees it as an investment which will reap dividends by attracting visitors all year round.

They want to turn it into a destination site for tourists as well as a popular local attraction.

Speaking about the plans earlier this year, Councillor Derek Milligan, council leader, said he believed it would also create new jobs.

He said: “We’re very excited about the potential leisure and economic benefits an expanded year-round facility at Hillend could bring to the local area.

“Not only would the investment pay for itself, but it could generate additional income that would be invested back into council services such as education, health and social care. The project could also create 50 full time jobs.”

The £300,000 contract for the funslope was lodged with Public Contracts Scotland last week. Once awarded, it is anticipated the contract will last four months. Midlothian Council has said Hillend will remain open throughout the redevelopment work.