THIS is the image that could represent Swindon to the rest of the country, and the world, if an ambitious partnership between Swindon Council and a ski dome developer gets off the ground.

The multi-million pound snow dome would play host to the longest ski-run in the world, as well as an ice skating rink, cafés, bars, speciality shops and street entertainment.

As revealed exclusively in the Adver, Swindon Council and Urban Ski have been in negotiations to bring the attraction to land at North Star for more than 18 months.

Although discussions have stalled during the economic meltdown, Swindon remains a prime site according to the developers.

Kevin Ferris, the chief executive of Ski Trac International, the global company behind Urban Ski, said: “The ski dome proposed by Urban Ski will be a general destination for both skiiers and non-skiiers alike with numerous attractions including a 1,000-metre bobsled ride, snow-play and toboggan slope, themed ice-skating canal, water park, snow-view restaurants, specialty shopping, a four-man sled ride to the Antarctic, and an Alpine gondola ride.

“Urban Ski is studying various sites in the UK, the Swindon site being a possibility.

“Whether it will be the first of its kind worldwide will depend on the speed of approvals.”

Mr Ferris said an agreement had already been signed in South Korea for a Ski Trac as part of a planned 10-lift outdoor ski resort and 54-hole golf country club. Other domes are planned for locations in China and the US.

“We are, of course, hoping that Swindon Council gives the site the go-ahead.”

The proposals have received a rapturous response from Swindon skiiers and snowboarders.

Lee Hallett, from Oakhurst, has just come back from a snowboarding trip to Bulgaria.

He said: “ I think that it is the best front page news Swindon has had in the 30 years I’ve lived here.

“Swindon’s location and industry gives it the potential to be one of the best towns in the country but the lack of recreational facilities really lets it down.

“If you like going to the pub or the gym Swindon is great, but if not you really are limited.

“The problem is that all of the snow domes are in the north of the country, so you’re forced to trek up the motorway.

“If you had one in Swindon you’d get people from Bristol, Bournemouth, Devon and all over the place coming here and spending their money. It would be a great draw.

“I’d be a gold member – I’d be there every weekend.”

Coun Phil Young, Swindon Council’s lead member for regeneration, said: “We are keen to have further talks with Urban Ski. I think this would be a fantastic facility for the town.”