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Landmark agreement for Swansea extreme activities attraction

Swansea plans for one of the UK's most eye-catching tourist attractions took a major step forwards today.


A heads of terms for a development agreement was signed by senior figures at Swansea Council and New Zealand-based Skyline Enterprises.

It forms the basis for how the two organisations will work together to bring about the creation of a high-quality leisure development on Kilvey Hill.

It will feature a cable car from the hilltop to the riverbank Hafod Copperworks site, luge tracks, ziplines, hilltop food and drink facilities, chairlift and terminal buildings such as a ticket office and reception area.

Council leader Rob Stewart said: "This is a landmark moment for Swansea; this agreement confirms how determined we are to bring world-class attractions and businesses here.

"We are determined to enhance Swansea for the benefit of both the people who live and work here and for our visitors."

Skyline chief executive Geoff McDonald said: "We are thrilled to have formalised our strong working relationship with the council with this agreement.

"We see huge potential in bringing Skyline to Europe for the first time - to Kilvey Hill's ideal natural location overlooking the vast and beautiful Swansea Bay."

Elements of the agreement include that:

Skyline will

  • Fund the development
  • Communicate and interact with the local community before work starts
  • Use local contractors and labour where possible
  • Lease the land from the council

The council will

  • Undertake pre-development work such as arranging service provision to the site.
  • Acquire any necessary private sector land - or the rights to it

Today's activity saw Geoff McDonald and Skyline general manager Danny Luke meet senior councillors and council officers. Discussions included matters relating to tourism, planning, highways and employment.

On Friday (June 8) they are due to meet a number of Kilvey Hill landowners and Welsh Government officials.

Before then they are due to meet potential development consultants such as architects, landscape specialists, quantity surveyors and structural engineers.

Cllr Robert Francis-Davies, the council's cabinet member for investment, regeneration and tourism, said: "The heads of terms agreement is really significant; it paves the way for work being carried out on site to take this exciting project from the drawing board to reality.

"Skyline will complement the city's incredible regeneration plans which will also include a 3,500-capacity digital arena, a digital business village, a new-look, improved Castle Square and a people-friendly Kingsway.

"The company's decision to work with us is a great vote of confidence in Swansea as a tourist destination and builds on the superb work being done through the City Deal and our status as Wales' city of culture."

Cllr Stewart said: "Kilvey Hill has huge potential to be transformed into a great visitor destination. Bringing this project to Swansea will also attract additional investment and benefit local businesses by generating more spending and supply chain opportunities."

The scheme would further build on plans to regenerate the River Tawe corridor, including Penderyn Distillery expanding their business into the former Hafod Morfa copperworks site.

Skyline run two world-class resorts featuring cable car rides and other attractions in New Zealand, as well as luge rides in Canada, South Korea and Singapore. The cable car attraction set for Swansea would be the company's first combined gondola and luge operation outside New Zealand.

Representatives of the company have previously visited Swansea twice to check out the potential of turning Kilvey Hill into a tourism hotspot, capable of attracting tens of thousands of visitors a year. The most recent visit included meetings with the council and major local businesses. Skyline directors gave the go-ahead to begin detailed design and legal discussions last year.

Photo Council leader Rob Stewart, second right, and chief executive Phil Roberts, right, with Skyline chief executive Geoff McDonald, second left, and general manager Danny Luke in the shadow of Kilvey Hill as they sign the heads of terms agreement.

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