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LONDON-Retail and leisure investor Capital & Regional has celebrated the success of its Xscape indoor ski and leisure development in Milton Keynes by announcing that the concept is to be floated off into a separate company.

Chief Executive Martin Barber said: ‘Milton Keynes is proving to be a great attraction with the longest ‘real snow’ indoor ski slope in Europe. We strongly believe that there is more to this building than just a property transaction and this retailing and leisure concept can be developed as an international brand’

The first Xscape in Milton Keynes is fully let and has attracted over four million visitors since opening last year. The 16-screen cinema is in the top 25 in the UK. Full planning permission has been granted for a second Xscape on the M62at Castleford, West Yorkshire. So far 27% of the floorspace is now pre-let with a further 41% in solicitor’s hands. Construction will begin in early 2002. And planning decisions are awaited on two more proposals at Braehead in Glasgow and at Castrop-Rauxel in the Ruhr, Germany.

‘With this successful start and our substantial expansion plans, we now believe the time has come to add further senior management expertise, to move the unique Xscape concept to a new level and establish it as a standalone business,’ said Barber. ‘We expect to make an announcement in the near future.’

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