Plans for new sport and leisure destination at Sheffield’s former Ski Village reach critical milestone

Plans to create an internationally-recognised sport and leisure destination at Parkwood Springs are one step closer with proposals to agree a lease for preferred developer Extreme Destinations Ltd to fulfil its ambitions for the project going before the Council’s Cabinet next week.

Sheffield City Council has announced its intention to sign an agreement for lease for the 21-hectare site with 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. This will allow the developer to move ahead with its investment proposals.

It is expected that initial phases of the site could boost the Sheffield economy with investment of up to £40m, and once the entire scheme is complete that could eventually top £60million, more than 400 new jobs and a million new visitors to the city each year.

The agreement for a 150-year lease will set specific terms for the redevelopment between the Council and Extreme, driving early progress on critical activities including submitting a full planning application. If the timescales are met, work could begin on the site in 2020.

Councillor Mazher Iqbal, Cabinet Member for Business and Investment for Sheffield City Council, 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 (SCRIF) to build a new access road to the site.

Extreme will soon start to develop a full planning application for the leisure destination.

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 for the city of Sheffield”.

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, close to surrounding much of the leisure destination site and connecting into existing neighbourhoods at Shirecliffe and Burngreave as well as new developments at Neepsend and Kelham.