Multi-million pound visitor attraction at Sheffield's former ski village stalled because of this reason

Sheffield’s derelict Ski Village is costing the council £30,000 a year but there’s been a delay with a new multi-million pound development.

Wednesday, 24th March 2021, 2:57 pm

Four years ago the council looked for a private sector developer to revitalise the Parkwood Springs site.

The Ski Village opened in 1988 but was destroyed by fire in 2012 and since then has suffered repeated arson attacks.

The council said it wouldn’t subsidise or operate any leisure facilities but would give a long lease on the land in return for the operator taking all the commercial and development risk.

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The site.

Extreme Destinations was selected to create a modern ski slope, mountain biking trails, a hub building and visitor accommodation – dubbed “the jewel in the crown of the Outdoor City”.

But council chiefs say Extreme has failed to make significant progress on the design of a new access road, which is crucial, and the timescale for completing the development is now at risk.

In a report, council officer Alan Seasman says: “Sheffield Council now owns the freehold of the site but it suffered several years of neglect, anti-social behaviour and vandalism while out of the council’s direct control.

“The site is now in extremely poor condition, overrun by redundant remains from the former facility, overgrown vegetation as well as out-dated site infrastructure.

“With an area of 21 hectares, current management, maintenance and holding costs to the council are in the region of £30,000 per year. The site is difficult to secure and manage in its current state given the size.”

A lease was agreed with the council in 2018 which allowed Extreme to “kick start delivery” by making detailed designs and setting out timescales.

But the report says: “Extreme have failed to make significant progress on the design of the road, which is crucial to unlocking the site and its development potential, and the delivery timescales are now at risk.

“On-going discussion between the council and Extreme have concluded that to make sufficient progress with the road it is now necessary for the council to step in and procure design and construction.”

The council has applied for a £6m grant from Sheffield City Region to construct the road but it needs permission from a nearby landowner and Network Rail to access land and detailed negotiations with them still have to take place.

The council says doing nothing is not an option. “It is a hugely important site in its own right and an opportunity to help further cement the Outdoor City identity and deliver associated economic benefits such as over £30m increased investment, over 400 new jobs and in the region of £1m additional visitors to the city every year.

“To do nothing and allow Extreme to continue to work up design and construction means the lease would either need to be renegotiated or brought to an end. This may have the consequential risk of losing the international leisure operator and their investment potential.”