Swansea is poised to potentially become the inaugural European leisure hotspot for the esteemed global tourism operator, Skyline Enterprises.
This development follows the recent submission of a planning application by the company, outlining ambitious plans to establish a world-class leisure destination on Swansea’s Kilvey Hill, with the submission made on Monday, 13th November.
Following a comprehensive five-year period dedicated to ecological, environmental, and feasibility assessments conducted as part of their global quest for a new destination, Skyline has officially presented its proposals for a Skyline site in Swansea.
The envisioned project encompasses a range of exciting features, including an accessible gondola (cable car), downhill karting (known as the Luge), a zipline, a sky swing, a restaurant and bar, improved walking and mountain bike trails, designated picnicking areas, and a children’s adventure play park.
Collaborating with Asbri Planning, Aad Architects, Ramboll Engineering, Ares Landscape Architects, and the Environmental Dimension Partnership, Skyline is working on a proposal for its new development. The entrance to the development, situated in Swansea’s recently revitalized Copper Quarter, is planned to be accessed from beside the new Penderyn Whiskey Distillery, where the gondola’s base station will be located.
All existing footpaths and access points to the Hill will be retained, ensuring free and unimpeded access for those using the Hill for recreational purposes. The development is designed to be constructed with sustainably-sourced materials, prioritizing local suppliers. Additionally, the proposal includes plans to collaborate with local training providers and higher education facilities to implement training schemes and provide employment opportunities for the local community.
Skyline’s recent economic impact report underscores the potential benefits of the project. If approved, the scheme is projected to create over 80 new permanent jobs in its first year of operation and contribute a substantial £84 million to the local economy over the next 15 years.
The Chief Executive Officer of Skyline Enterprises, Geoff McDonald, 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 proposals incorporate ecological conservation strategies aimed at achieving a net-positive impact on biodiversity at the site. These strategies encompass thorough ecological studies and mitigation procedures, as well as the implementation of lighting schemes, tree planting, wildflower and grassland planting, sustainable drainage systems (SuDS), and measures for habitat protection. Developed in partnership with the Environmental Dimension Partnership (EDP), these proposals are meticulously designed to align with the requirements set forth by Natural Resources Wales.
Geoff went on to say: “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.”