Sheffield propose £60m extreme sports facility

Sheffield City Council has announced its intention to sign a leasing agreement with Extreme Destinations Ltd for its planned new sport and leisure destination at Parkwood Springs.

The proposed development, which will be presented to the council’s cabinet next week, will see the construction of a modern ski slope, mountain biking trails, a retail and dining hub as well as visitor accommodation on the 21-hectare site.

The council says the scheme – part of Sheffield’s strategy to boost its outdoor recreation offering – could attract investment of over £60m, create over 400 new jobs and attract a million new visitors to Sheffield each year.

The planned 150-year lease agreement between the council and Extreme will encourage Extreme to submit an early planning application for the project, with work set to begin on the site in 2020.

Cllr 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.’

The development will be built on the former site of Sheffield Ski Village, which operated until 2012 and was believed to be the largest artificial ski resort in Europe.

Since naming Extreme as its preferred developer for the site Sheffield City Council has secured £4.8m of improvement funding from the Sheffield City Region to build a new access road to the site.

Extreme will now start work on developing its 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.’

The Parkwood Springs area of Sheffield is currently the subject of much attention from Sheffield City Council, which held a public consultation on its new masterplan for the suburb last year.

The draft masterplan outlines the council’s vision for a new country park in Sheffield surrounding much of the Extreme site, which will link with existing communities at Shirecliffe and Burngreave as well as new developments at Neepsend and Kelham.

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