Xscape

Xscape buildings (named after the company that developed them, X-Leisure) are large, strikingly designed and unusually shaped buildings. Typically they contain a real snow indoor ski slope, leisure facilities and related shops. There are currently three members of the chain, located in Central Milton Keynes and Castleford both in England, and in Braehead, Scotland.

Milton Keynes

The Milton Keynes Xscape opened in 2000 and is a major feature on the skyline of Central Milton Keynes as seen from the east. The Xscape is 44 metres high, making it the second tallest building in Milton Keynes after Mellish Court in Bletchley. Inside the Xscape can be found a 170m long real-snow ski slope, a 16-screen cinema, a number of shops and restaurants and a climbing wall. An interesting point is the two large funnels on the front of the building, sometimes mistaken for lifts or part of the cooling system: they are actually just stairs. This and the Xscape at Castleford were designed by FaulknerBrowns Architects

Located directly behind the Xscape building is a large square-shaped structure which houses an indoor skydiving centre named 'Airkix'.

Location: 52°02′28″N 0°44′56″W / 52.041°N 0.749°W / 52.041; -0.749Coordinates: 52°02′28″N 0°44′56″W / 52.041°N 0.749°W / 52.041; -0.749

Castleford

The Castleford Xscape near Wakefield, West Yorkshire is built in a similar style to the Braehead one however it is of note that the many angular parts of the building, especially when seen from behind do form a shape similar to that of the Milton Keynes Xscape. The Castleford Xscape opened in October 2003 and has a 5,500 square metres (59,202 sq ft) roof.

The Castleford Xscape was a major development for what was before, an averaged sized town in West Yorkshire and is situated next to Junction 32, a popular outlet mall formerly known as Freeport. The two combined have really put Castleford, Glasshoughton in particular, on the map.

The Xscape at Castleford contains many shops, clubs, restaurants, and entertainment facilities including a bowling alley, multi screen cinema, laser tag, crazy golf and amusements.

Xscape Castleford is sometimes marketed as Xscape Leeds.

Braehead

The Braehead Xscape began construction in 2005 and was opened in March 2006 with its main use to teach people how to ski or snowboard. It is shaped differently, more like a conventional building but with the ski slope using a sloped cuboid structure projecting out the roof. This Xscape features a wide variety of entertainment including; the indoor Ski Slope, Soccer Circus, Rock Climbing, Sky Park, Odeon Cinemas, Bowling, Fan Drop, Robocoaster (the only Robocoaster in the UK), Mini Golf, Lazer Station and the 'Fun Station'. The Complex also has a wide variety of shops, restaurants, and bars.

The "Snozone", or indoor snow slope, is 200m for the main slope with an additional smaller slope exclusively for use by learners taking lessons. For the beginner, this is ideal as you are on a quieter slope with others of your own level and fully supervised. On the main slope, two gentle "Poma" or button lifts give a drag tow to the top and can be exited either at the top or halfway down. Rope tows are used on the beginners slope.

Skiers and boarders are fully provided for with complimentary hire equipment, although the more advanced typically will have their own equipment. Sledging and an ice slide are provided for those who just wish a little bit of fun.

Lessons can be booked for both boarding and skiing. Beginners start on the exclusive teaching slope before moving to the main slope. Initially only half of the main slope will be used before one advances to using the full slope. Once passed at the ability to ski or board from the full length of the slope, the pupil is allowed full access as they are demeed to have reached recreational level.

Clothing can be hired for a nominal charge, but gloves must be either purchased unless provided by the attendee.

In March 2006, weeks before the complex was scheduled to open, the roof of screen seven of the Odeon Cinemas fell in and required extensive re-building. The mini-golf (which is housed below the cinema) opened in July 2006. The Odeon Cinema opened on October 19, 2007, 18 months later than planned. "Stardust" was the first film shown at the cinema. The cinema is fitted with Real D (also known as Disney Digital 3D technology) in Screen 7 with Screen 1 being the largest of the Cinemas screens. The Odeon Cinema held the Scottish Pink Carpet Premiere of Universal Pictures film "Wild Child" on July 30, 2008. Both stars of the film Emma Roberts (Poppy) and Alex Pettyfer (Freddie) attended, with positive opinions to the Cinema and the Xscape's facilities.

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