More details shedding light on the planned £22.5 million revival of Sheffield's former ski village have emerged - including a first glimpse of how the new attraction could look.
A map showing where different elements of the scheme will go - including new slopes and a lift for skiing, zones for snowboarding and sledding, a zip line, cycle tracks and a lake for canoeing, as well as an entertainment space in an amphitheatre - has been issued, along with an artist's impression showing a new ski lodge.
A business briefing was held today at the Royal Victoria Hotel, where Sheffield Council's chief executive John Mothersole and director of city growth Edward Highfield spoke about the plans for the 48-acre site.
Last November, the council appointed a consortium led by sports group EXTREME Destinations as the preferred developer to deliver a sports, leisure and entertainment complex at Parkwood Springs.
Initially, the project is expected to create 100 new full-time jobs, with more on the way as the attraction grows. The ski slopes are expected to be reinstated in the first phase of the scheme, with further attractions to follow, including the prospect of an indoor sky diving facility, a 'virtual reality hub', shops and themed hotel accommodation.
The original ski village opened in 1988. It was believed to be the largest artificial ski resort in Europe, and was used by winter Olympians for training. But, in 2012, a major fire broke out at the site, the first in a series of blazes thought to be arson attacks. The place was closed and has since fallen into dereliction.
Coun Mazher Iqbal, cabinet member for business and investment, said: “It’s great to see EXTREME’s plans talking shape after many months of hard work by themselves and the council to get to this point. These plans show the huge potential of the former ski village site as a major destination and large visitor attraction. It shows how EXTREME can carry out a phased delivery plan which brings the ski village back into use alongside many other outdoor pursuits. And it also shows how the rest of the site can be developed with the potential for lodges, hotels and other accommodation.”
The scheme ties in with the council's aim to position Sheffield as the country's premier 'outdoor city'.
Chris Lewis, from EXTREME, said a bid was being developed for Sheffield City Region funding. "Our discussions to date have shown the very real potential of this site. We have had many interesting discussions about bringing adventure sports to Parkwood. We are having highly positive discussions to bring our plans closer to reality.”
The destinations group has more than 120 sporting ambassadors, including many who trained at the ski village such as snowboarder Jamie Nicholls.
Facilities operator Continuum Attractions, which runs the Emirates Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth, York's Chocolate Story and tours of the Coronation Street set, is also working on the project.
Further plans for the ski village are to come later this year, when the council’s blueprint for the wider Parkwood Springs area is published. This will include Wardsend Cemetery and the former Viridor landfill site.