World-class new ski slope set to become a reality

Plans for a ski and sport attraction to rival the best in the world – bringing 400 new jobs and a million new visitors to Sheffield – have moved a step closer.

By Lucy Ashton, Local Democracy Reporter
Tuesday, 09 July, 2019, 15:05
The view from Sheffield Ski Village

Council chiefs have agreed a 150-year lease with Extreme Destinations to create an internationally-recognised sport and leisure destination at Parkwood Springs.

The authority will sign an agreement to lease the site to Extreme as it works towards developing a modern ski slope, mountain biking trails, a hub building with shops, bars and restaurants as well as visitor accommodation, alongside a major international operator.

It’s being dubbed the “jewel in the crown” of Sheffield’s Outdoor City strategy.

The initial phases could boost Sheffield’s economy with investment of up to £40m, and once the entire 21-hectare site is complete that could eventually top £60 million.

It’s set to create more than 400 new jobs and bring a million new visitors to the city each year.

The agreement will set specific terms for the redevelopment between the council and Extreme, and work could begin on the site in 2020. It will allow Extreme to move ahead with its investment proposals.

Coun Mazher Iqbal, cabinet member for business and investment, said: “This much anticipated project to create an internationally-recognised destination just a mile from our city centre is now even closer to becoming a reality.

“We believe that Extreme Destinations share our vision for this site to be the jewel in the crown of Sheffield’s Outdoor City strategy.

“They have engaged with local stakeholders and the international sports market and this agreement for lease is supported by both the council and developer.

“It gives us the reassurance we need as an authority to make decisions that are best for the people of Sheffield, but also gives the developer assurance that it can proceed to a full business plan and planning permission and move the project forward.

“There is still much work to be done but this agreement gives the developer the opportunity to put its plans forward.”

Since unveiling Extreme as the preferred developer for the site, formerly home to the Sheffield Ski Village, the council has secured £4.8m of Sheffield City Region Improvement Funding to build a new access road to the site.

Chris Lewis, destination development director (UK) for Extreme, said: “The signing of the agreement is a huge milestone following substantial collaborative work by the council and Extreme teams.

“Working closely with the local community and other key stakeholders, this will now allow for the full design of the site to be developed, creating a high-quality destination which integrates into the wider Parkwood Springs site. We can’t wait to deliver and show the public the exciting Extreme destination we have planned.”

Extreme will soon start to develop a full planning application and the lease proposals will go before the council’s Cabinet next week.

In the past year, the council has also launched a new draft masterplan for Parkwood Springs, consulting with local businesses and residents, which sets out the long-term vision for a country park in the city connecting with Shirecliffe, Burngreave, Neepsend and Kelham.

The former Sheffield Ski Village opened in 1988 until it was destroyed by fire in 2012.