By Louis Hobbs
The Sheffield Ski Village is set to make it’s ramped up return to the city as part of a brand new world-class extreme and winter sports resort.
Prior to a serious fire in 2012 which forced the tourist destination to close, the Sheffield attraction was believed to be the largest artificial ski resort in Europe.
After a competitive bidding process which began early 2015, Sheffield City council has appointed the sport company EXTREME to design the 48-acre long-term project. EXTREME’s proposed plans would bring a third indoor ski slope to Yorkshire, adding to facilities in Halifax and Castleford.
Demographically, extreme and winter sports in England generally have a narrow target audience. However, project leaders don’t believe this to be a problem. Alastair Gosling, CEO of EXTREME added: “We’re currently working to try and make extreme sports appeal to a much larger demographic, as we want to get as many people involved whether they want to train competitively or just for fun”.
“Extreme sports shouldn’t just be for those who constantly train, or have a specific skill set. That’s why we’re working incredibly hard to try and get children as young as six years old involved, which will also give the sports a better chance of creating world class talent”.
The old ski village was known for being the training ground for the Yorkshire Freestyle Squad, alongside many professional freestyle skiers such as Katie Summerhayes, who won a silver medal in slopestyle at the 2015 World Championships in Kreischberg.
When asked about the re-development of the facility which inspired her to become a professional skier, Sheffield-born freestyle skier Summerhayes said: “I think it’s going to be amazing that all the young skiers are going to have an amazing chance like this. Without ski village, I wouldn’t have even started skiing. I think it’s really going to boost the youngsters coming from Sheffield again”.
The new and improved ski village has been set to officially reopen in 2019, with EXTREME’s plans to develop a residential area and leisure facilities around and on the site will then be taken on after.