Swansea could become the first European leisure destination for global tourism operator Skyline Enterprises, after the company submitted a planning application to bring a world-class leisure destination to Swansea’s Kilvey Hill this week [Monday 13th November].
After five years of ecological, environmental and feasibility surveys during their global search for their next destination, Skyline has submitted its plans to bring Swansea its own Skyline site with proposals including an accessible gondola (cable car), downhill karting known as the Luge, a zipline, a sky swing, a restaurant and bar, enhanced walking and mountain bike trails, picnicking areas and a children’s adventure play park.
Working with Asbri Planning, Aad Architects, Ramboll Engineering, Ares Landscape Architects and the Environmental Dimension Partnership to develop the proposal, Skyline’s new development would be accessed from Swansea’s recently regenerated Copper Quarter, with the gondola’s base station proposed to sit beside the new Penderyn Whiskey Distillery.
All current footpaths and access points to the Hill would remain, with free and unhindered access continuing for those who use the Hill for recreation.
Planned to be built with sustainably-sourced materials, using local suppliers as much as possible, the proposal includes plans to work with local training providers as well as further and higher education facilities to provide training schemes and employment for local people.
The application follows Skyline’s recent economic impact report which predicted, if approved, the scheme would create over 80 new permanent jobs in its first year of opening, and would contribute a staggering £84mllion to the local economy over the next 15 years.
Geoff McDonald, Skyline Enterprises Chief Executive Officer, said: “By creating a sustainably-designed wheelchair and pram-accessible gondola, our first European Skyline destination would allow more people to enjoy the spectacular views from Kilvey Hill – we fell in love with the site as soon as we first visited back in 2017 while seeking our first European destination, and we know that locals and visitors alike will love the Skyline offering if we’re successful with our application.
“What’s more, this would be the first Luge ride to open in Europe. Our Luge ride can run in all weather conditions, suitable for all ages and thrill boundaries, and it’s wheelchair accessible.
“Complimenting the Luge would be other firsts for the UK which include a new Zipline technology developed in New Zealand, plus a giant Sky Swing. Like the Luge, both of these attractions are accessible to all.
“The cableway system would include 8-seater cabins plus new mountain bike carriers developed in partnership with one of the world’s leading cableway manufacturer’s Poma.
“Our accessible design removes barriers for those who may not have access to adventure tourism activities elsewhere; accessibility is at the heart of our site designs, and we would be proud to offer this fun, exciting experience for Swansea, Wales, and its visitors.”
The plans also feature ecological conservation strategies to ensure net-positive impact on biodiversity at the site. Including extensive ecological studies and mitigation procedures, lighting schemes, tree planting, wildflower and grassland planting, sustainable drainage systems (SuDS), and habitat protection measures, proposals have been designed in collaboration with the Environmental Dimension Partnership (EDP) to ensure compliance with Natural Resources Wales requirements.
Geoff continued: “We were drawn to Wales during our global search as the nation has a growing industry of adventure tourism businesses, yet ensures sustainability is at the heart of proposed schemes across the nation —we would embrace this vision for a greener Wales, safeguarded for future generations while encouraging businesses and communities to thrive.
“We hope to see our application approved in the coming months, so we can bring a Skyline property to this wonderful city. We would make it our mission to protect wildlife at the site while improving biodiversity – by replacing diseased trees, planting pollinator-friendly heathland, and utilising the advanced technology in wildlife-friendly lighting schemes. Our work with the Environmental Dimension Partnership to date has left nothing to chance, as we’ve been diligent with meeting all required surveys and environmental planning standards – and will continue to do so as plans progress.
“Sustainability is a feature across all our sites in New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore, Canada and South Korea, and Skyline sites have truly become a beloved fixture within their communities. Whether providing days out, tourism opportunities, or life-long careers, Skyline properties bring long-term benefits to the regions in which we operate.
“But overall, our business is all about putting smiles on people’s faces, and that’s what we’d hope to do by bringing this globally tried and tested leisure destination to Swansea.”