Old Sheffield ski village: New Zealand company confident in new adventure park plans at 'fantastic' site

Skyline Enterprises said it loves Sheffield’s former ski village and it is confident its new plans for an adventure sports park there will work.

The New Zealand based company has been in business since the 1960s and has operations in countries around the world including Korea, Canada and Singapore.

Their plans to turn Sheffield’s old ski village into a family oriented leisure destination with luge and ziplines within the next three to four years were revealed by the local democracy reporting service last week.

Following the news, BBC Radio Sheffield presenter Toby Foster interviewed Geoff McDonald, chief executive of Skyline Enterprises, about their plans.

Geoff McDonald said he thinks the site is 'fantastic'

Speaking about luge, Mr McDonald said: “I had the opportunity to come to Sheffield and look at it, we just love the site – we think it’s fantastic.

“To be frank with you, all I knew about Sheffield prior to that was seeing the city on the Full Monty which I gather is how the world knows it but we were amazed at the city and where it was in its development and we think there is huge potential.

“I heard you talking about the fires and I get that, it’s been pretty run down for a few years but look at the location – it’s got that awesome history of the dry ski slope and we think there is potential to put something like that back, putting a luge trail in there and maybe ziplines and potentially getting some other partners in as well so you have got a real downtown adventure park for the locals.”

The plans follow termination of a contract with Extreme to create a modern ski slope, mountain bike trails, a hub and visitor accommodation after the company failed to deliver key milestones and the project was deemed not viable.

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Mr McDonald said: “We think it’s a tremendous site and it’s quite a big area, you could probably do a development in a couple of phases there.

“We were involved sort of early on when Extreme had the original agreement with the council and I’ve not been close to the detail of what happened there but I understand that’s fallen over and the council said would we be interested in looking at continuing and we said yes we would.

“So I guess from here if it gets the approval we have got to go away and come up with a masterplan that the community likes but we are confident it could work.”

When asked about timescales, Mr McDonald said: “Nothing is going to happen tomorrow…the council wants to clean the site up, it obviously needs that – that needs to happen. There is some sort of investigation stage that needs to happen, we need to understand what’s in the ground there and then we need to sort out access…

“In the background we can get on with planning and get something through the planning process, I’m thinking it’s probably going to be three to four years away.

“But at least if we get something moving we can get it socialised out there with the community and get some feedback and start moving forward.”