Thousands of visitors flocked to award-winning leisure complex Xscape at the weekend as the centre celebrated its tenth anniversary.
The complex, built on the site of the former Glass Houghton colliery, has attracted more than 35 million visitors since it first opened its doors in October 2003.
Xscape, which employs more than 800 people, features the country’s biggest real snow slope, two rock climbing walls, indoor skate park, bowling alley, multiplex cinema, 17 bars and restaurants and a string of shops.
Jason Warren, general manager, said: “I have been managing the centre for almost six years and I don’t think the site has ever looked better.
“The site is now full as far as the number of businesses are concerned, I am really proud to manage the facility.”
Glass Houghton Colliery closed in 1986 with the loss of hundreds of jobs across the Five Towns and jobseekers set up the Glass Houghton Regeneration Forum to look at ways to regenerate the site.
Tony Cairns, forum chairman, said: “It seems a lot longer than ten years ago when Xscape opened but it’s great to come back and see the place doing so well.
“The facility was set up to redevelop the site and create some much needed jobs. Glass Houghton was one of the worst areas for unemployment when the pit closed.”
A fun day with free entertainment including bike stunt artists, street magicians, comedy acts, flash mobs was held at the site on Saturday.
Awards won by Xscape over the last decade include Wakefield District Business Awards Business of the Year 2006 and Best Tourism Experience 2005 in the Yorkshire Tourist Board White Rose Awards.
Yvette Cooper, Pontefract and Castleford MP, said: “Xscape celebrating ten years is a tribute to the staff, management and also to the local community who championed for it in the 1990s.
“I think in an area like the Five Towns we want every boost for jobs we can get and this is what Xscape has provided and continues to provide.”