There may be more rain than snow and no slopes or chairlifts in sight but Manchester University aims to be a training mecca for ski-resort bosses.
A new World Academy of Sport Executive Centre, launched this week by the university's Business School, will provide courses to train executives of the International Ski Federation in skills ranging from events management to marketing and finance.
Chris Solly, the centre's director, said the quality of training and availability of business expertise was more important than the setting. For executives and managers in skiing and other sports, skills in handling multimillion-pound events and budgets have become essential.
He said: "People in the skiing world are so used to being surrounded by snow that they are happy to have a change of scene when they join a course to sharpen their skills."
The centre, which has also teamed up with with the International Cycling Union, will run courses from May and plans to eventually recruit executives and managers from a wide range of sports. Francois Carrard, director-general of the Olympic International Committee, is to be one of its visiting lecturers.
Mr Solly said: "We are providing a ready-made structure for training that is relevant to the industry."