PLANS for the £270m ski centre at North Star have been hit with a fresh delay over funding.

Developer Seven Capital admits it hasn’t yet got all the money it needs to begin work on the scheme, which many hope will transform Swindon’s fortunes.

The company was given permission for the scheme last November and said it wanted to start work in spring this year.

But now it says it still hasn’t got the investment needed and hopes be on site in the first few months of 2020.

The Adver understands that Swindon Borough Council has agreed to give the company more time to get the necessary funds.

A spokeswoman for the company said: “We haven’t quite got the full funding for the project yet, although we are not far off.

“Unfortunately sometimes, projects of this size take longer than anticipated for a number of reasons and that’s been the case here.

“But we are very close to finalising everything and being able to proceed. Once we’ve done that, then realistically, it’s three or four months before work starts, so we could be on site and working in February or March next year.

“It is a delay, but we are definitely going ahead – there’s no chance that we won’t be building the snow centre.”

Previously when it said that work would be delayed, Seven Capital did not blame Brexit for the problems raising the cash. But it did say that uncertainty in the business climate in the UK, including concerns over Brexit, could have contributed.

As well as the ski slopes, the complex to go up across the road from the Oasis Leisure Centre will feature an Imax cinema and shops, bars, cafes and restaurants.

The spokeswoman added: “The centre is two thirds pre-let already, with companies signing up to take units and there are more going to agree very soon.”

Recently the borough council’s cabinet member for the town centre Dale Heenan took a decision on the matter which is confidential but is understood to be about giving Seven Capital more time to get the money together.

Coun Heenan said: “The £270m North Star complex is Swindon’s biggest ever investment in leisure, and will change our town for the better.

“It has been a difficult six months, and I remain determined the council does what it can to support Seven Capital in making this major development a reality.

"Through confidential discussions, the council and Seven Capital has identified a way forward and I'm very pleased that major companies are signing leases because it shows the confidence behind the scheme.

“We all want to see diggers on site, but we need to be patient and to give the developer a bit more time to put the building blocks in place for what will be a game-changing attraction that will make our town a great place to live, and a regional destination.”

But other councillors are concerned.

Liberal Democrat councillor Stan Pajak asked for Coun Heenan’s decision to be referred to the council’s Conservative cabinet for ratification.

And ward councillor and leader of the Labour group Jim Grant said: “This is another blow to Swindon’s economy.

"We’re seeing Honda and Morrisons going, and now a further delay to the snow centre. Weeks ago the council said everything was fine and it’s clear it’s not.”

“There can only be two reasons for this inability to get the capital needed. One is Brexit, and the other is the business community clearly has no confidence in the council administration’s ability to deliver regeneration projects. We’ve seen nothing other than delay and failure on regeneration.”