Swansea plans for one of the UK’s most eye-catching tourist attractions have taken a major step forwards.
The New Zealand-based developers behind a cable car ride, toboggan rides, zip wire rides and restaurant and event venue on Kilvey Hill have reached an agreement with Swansea Council to progress the scheme.
They now plan to visit the city for a week in June to start appointing professional teams who will work on the plan, to start survey work and to further develop their vision.
Skyline directors gave the go-ahead to begin detailed design and legal discussions last year. And now the company and council have drafted an agreement that will go to the council’s cabinet and Skyline’s board of directors for approval within months.
Cllr Robert Francis-Davies, the council’s cabinet member for culture, tourism and major projects, said: “Skyline’s visit in June is really significant; it will pave the way for work being carried out on site which will take this exciting project from the drawing board to reality.
“We’ve reached an agreement with Skyline and they’ll be signing heads of terms with us when they visit Swansea in June. Our cabinet and their board will be getting reports on it shortly.
“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.
“We are determined to enhance Swansea for the benefit of both the people who live and work here and our visitors.”
Skyline chief executive Geoff McDonald said: “We are looking forward to visiting Swansea once more and continuing discussions with the council and potential development consultants.”
The council is liaising with fellow landowners at Kilvey Hill and other relevant parties to help secure an agreement. Once the agreement is in place, Skyline will start work on a planning application.
The scheme would be funded by private money, with no funding from council taxpayers.
Council leader Rob 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 outside New Zealand.
Representatives of the company have already been to 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 latest included meetings with the council and major local businesses.