Campaigners are fighting to save Sheffield’s ‘eyesore’ ski village for future generations of sporting heroes.
Community group Snowsport For Sheffield says it has interest from investors who want to redevelop the site at a cost of up to £40m and make it into a key sports facility for the city.
Winter Olympic athletes James Woods and Katie Summerhayes both competed at the Sochi games after learning their sports on Sheffield’s ski slope.
A petition supporting the scheme has already attracted 4,000 signatures - with some describing the idea as ‘the best in ages’ for the city’s future.
Alan Bister, chairman of the group who used to work at the Ski Village before it closed, said: “It’s an absolute eyesore at the moment. The shame of Sheffield’s ski village being left to slide into a sorry state has already gained national media attention.
“At a time when Team GB celebrates winning its first-ever Olympic medal on snow at Sochi, the former training home for many of the freestyle snowsport athletes lies in ruins.
“But we want to create a platform for the next generation of Olympic hopefuls.”
Mr Bister said a dry ski-slope would cost £6 or 7million to build, but a Centre Of Excellence could cost £12million, rising to £40million for an indoor snow slope. He added: “We have the contacts to get investors interested. We have already been approached by investors who are potentially keen to get on board.”
The land’s owner, Kevin Pullan, wants to build 100 houses on the site. He said: “We are happy for volunteer groups who can come up with a scheme that is self-financed to come forward.
“Housing won’t stop the reopening of the Ski Village. They could co-exist.
“It would be a catalyst for regeneration - and regeneration is the key.”
Snowsport For Sheffield is to hold a public meeting tomorrow at the Forum in Division Street to outline its plans.
n Residents back ski slope hope: See The Star tomorrow.