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Pickering Showground team puts ambitious plan forward
11:14am Wednesday 13th February 2013 in News
PLANS have been submitted for a multi-million pound residential and leisure development at Pickering Showground.
Comprising an exhibition and conference facility, restaurant, outdoor leisure pursuits centre, nature reserve and camping park, the developers, who have rebranded the site Pickering Exhibition & Leisure Village, aim to bring sustainable long-term benefits to Pickering and the surrounding area.
The main feature will be an eco-sustainable development of 111 lodges ranging in size from two to four bedrooms.
Jason Bruton, director of Pickering Showground Ltd, said the development would cover 120 acres on and around the existing showground.
He said: “We have taken on a lot of feedback following the public consultation held last October and altered various things in line with the views of people living in the local area including changing the name from Ryedale to Pickering Exhibition & Leisure Village.
“We now need to go through the planning process and expect comments from various groups involved and we hope to work together so we can create something special for the area.”
Mr Bruton said the site has been under-utilised for many years and in order for it to reach its full potential, work has already commenced on a programme of investment aimed at attracting a wider range of events.
The eco-lodge and camping park will feature wooden cabin-style holiday homes plus areas for touring caravans and motorhomes, with a separate area set aside for camping and glamping.
A focal point of the outdoor pursuits centre will be the creation of a lake suitable for year-round access for non-motorised watersports, from canoeing to wind surfing.
Part of the site has been set aside for a nature reserve and there are also plans for a park and ride scheme to allow visitors easy access to Pickering.
Mr Bruton said: “If the proposals are approved, we will be looking to create up to 28 construction jobs over the course of the building project, along with six apprentices, and once we are established, eight permanent jobs.
“The plans will have a major positive effect on the local economy. From improved leisure and recreation facilities to increased tourism visitors and from job creation to major growth opportunities for existing local businesses, these proposals will bring sustainable long-term benefits to the people of Pickering and the surrounding area.”
Mr Bruton said a number of events were already in the pipeline, particularly aimed at families.
“We are looking at smaller attractions rather than huge events which will generate a lot of traffic,” he said.
“Work is already underway on the main building and by the end of February or beginning of March, we hope to have the conference facilities and function rooms available.
Mr Bruton said that, subject to planning, they hoped to start work on the main site in June.
“We are very excited by the developments planned for the showground which will have a positive effect on both the local community, in terms of improved recreational facilities, and on the local economy due to increased tourism and event attendance,” he said.
“From the feedback we have received, local people are also very proud of the showground and very loyal to it and they also seem excited by the plans we have.”