FEW would regard Holmfirth, the mill village synonymous with BBC TV’s Last of the Summer Wine, as a place of pilgrimage for winter sports lovers.
But Briton Engineering Developments, which is based in Holmfirth, produces the artificial snow surface which enables the world’s finest skiers and snowboarders to hone their skills in the summer.
A number of British sports stars, such as Katie Summerhayes, the World Freestyle Ski silver medallist, gained a love of skiing on the company’s Snowflex snowsports surface. Last year, Ms Summerhayes, from Sheffield, praised the quality of dry slopes in the North of England which use surfaces such as Snowflex. Nine of the 19 skiers and snowboarders in Team GB at last year’s Winter Olympics in Sochi trained on Snowflex.
For its latest project, Briton is working with the Utah Olympic Park (UOP) in Park City, in Utah, in the US, which is re-designing its summer jump facilities. Briton has shipped out an order of 3,520 sq ft of Snowflex, which will be used on several of the re-designed training jumps.
Dieter Sturm, the exclusive US sales agent for Snowflex, said: “We are proud, once again, to be involved with the UOP and their efforts to train the next Olympic snowsports champions.”
Snowflex has been used on the Park City development for eight years, and the new summer jump is expected to open in the spring.
Briton has designed and built facilities for more than 250 snowsports projects in the UK and overseas, including a major development in Ankara, Turkey. According to Briton, Snowflex is softer than hard pack snow, and requires very little maintenance.