SnOasis 'will boost Suffolk builders'

CONSTRUCTION workers from the region are to be guaranteed jobs on the £350million SnOasis complex as part of a bid to stimulate the local economy.

Neil Puffett

CONSTRUCTION workers from the region are to be guaranteed jobs on the £350million SnOasis complex as part of a bid to stimulate the local economy.

The ambitious winter sports development was given the final green light yesterday and work will soon get under way to appoint a contractor to begin construction.

Godfrey Spanner, managing director of developers Onslow Suffolk, said whichever firm wins the contract will be asked to use local people for subcontract work.


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He said the large scale construction of the £1bn Colchester Barracks development by Robert McAlpine used around 60 per cent local labour and can envisage a similar proportion working on SnOasis.

Mr Spanner said: “There is a great deal of construction talent and skill around the area.

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“It seems foolish to us not to use that for many reasons.

“People won't have to travel a long way to get to the site and one of our aims is to build up the local economy.

“We have always said wherever possible we will use local business.”

During the construction phase, which will take 30 months, it is expected up to 3,500 jobs will be created.

When complete, a further 1,800 full-time equivalent jobs will be created.

Mr Spanner has already been in touch with universities, colleges and schools across the region in a bid to ensure the right skills are on offer.

He said: “We need people with management skills and there will be quite a big need for those with IT skills, as well as waiters and cleaners.

“We will need security in quite large numbers as well as a number of gardening and landscaping people.

“It is right across the board.”

All told the SnOasis development is expected to bring around £70million a year into the region.

The new employment opportunities are expected to stimulate the local economy through spending in shops, increased demand for accommodation and the sourcing of supplies from businesses within the region.

Ipswich Borough Council leader Liz Harsant today welcomed the green light for SnOasis.

She said: "This is a big boost for the local and regional economy and I welcome the fact that many hundreds of jobs will be created.

“The news will also be welcome for local companies and for tourism.”

However Lib Dem county councillor for Gipping Valley, John Field, flagged up some concerns over potential damage to wildlife and an increase in traffic on roads in the area.

"Now that this decision has been taken by the Government, we must look to the future and ensure that the local people get the best possible outcome from this development,” he said.

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