A COOL new activity venue set to open on Friday is guaranteeing snow 365 days a year.

And for sports fans it is welcome news.

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Thousands of motorists using the M60 near the Trafford Centre over the past year have watched with interest the emergence of a towering structure alongside the motorway.

Now, the true scale of "Chill Factor e" is finally being revealed.

It is Europe's biggest indoor ski slope, which will be coated with snow so realistic that the flakes are almost indistinguishable from nature's own. But instead of taking hours to form here, they will be created in seconds, and they "fall" on schedule every night.

The £34 million project started taking shape last August at the hands off builder Sir Robert McAlpine.

On offer is not only a 180-metre long and 100-metre wide uninterrupted ski slope for accomplished skiers and snowboarders, but nursery slopes, a luge toboggan run and a snow play area for children.

It is all housed in luminous blue and rose buildings and has its own Alpine village of shops, boutiques and restaurants in a quaint indoor street.

Enormous murals of mountain scenes adorn the walls and the décor is all "Alpine woodland meets exclusive ski resort shopping centre".

Nor is this simply a leisure facility. Some of the country's most competitive snow sports organisations have pledged their allegiance to Chill Factor e, glad to find first-class facilities in the UK.

Can Winter Olympic sports greatness be far behind?

Company chairman Peter Moore said: "I'd like to think we can help create more champions."

Mr Moore, managing director David Sterland, and operations director Andrew Lockerbie, form the three-man team behind Chill Factor e. They have impressive track records in business and innovation, and are keen skiers.

"This place is a space to turn people on, to offer something for everyone - whether you are a keen skier or snowboarder, whether you enjoy shopping or dining, or you want somewhere different for the children to enjoy themselves," says Mr Moore.

You can watch the snow action from many spots, including the sports bar, restaurants and the walkways above the street of shops.

Winter sports and outdoor specialist retailers are setting up shop, and there is even a spot for that doyen of North-west ice-cream makers, Frederick's.

There are conference facilities and the opportunity for themed parties for all ages.

There will also be job opportunities in their hundreds.

Its position, close to the Trafford Centre, hotels and the motorway network, means it will become a magnet for snow fans from all over the region.

For one special area of Trafford, the daily outlook will be snow showers and low temperatures all the way, although the commercial future is far warmer.

For thousands of skiers and snowboarders from Bolton to Bangor, that is excellent news.