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The sky’s the limit in Swansea for new tourism venture

Menter twristiaeth newydd yn Abertawe yn anelu’n uchel

The Welsh Government has today announced a £4 million investment to bring a major new world-class Skyline tourism attraction to Swansea.

Skyline Enterprises Ltd are behind the £34 million venture, which marks one of the biggest single investments in the Welsh tourism & hospitality sector in recent years.

Swansea Council is also in advanced discussions about a funding proposal with Skyline, which the company is currently considering.

Skyline’s proposals for Swansea include a cable car and chair lift system, Skyline’s own gravity fuelled downhill carting experience, known as the luge, a sky swing, existing and new walking trails, a zipline, additional mountain bike access and food & beverage outlets.  The project is expected to create  up to 100 direct full-time equivalent jobs.

The proposed cable car system would run to the top of Kilvey Hill from the area of the Hafod Morfa Copperworks.

The funding announced for the project is dependent on the scheme being granted planning approval and works starting on site. The funding would then be allocated in phases throughout the project’s construction and delivery.

Deputy Minister for Arts and Sport, Dawn Bowden, who has responsibility for tourism within the Welsh Government, said: “This project is significant in the further development of Swansea as a vibrant city destination.  It complements other regeneration projects in the area as well as supporting economic growth and all year-round jobs.

“When in New Zealand last year, I saw first-hand how Skyline Enterprises in Queenstown has used the natural landscape as a beautiful backdrop to a successful enterprise. This is a unique inward investment opportunity for us, and I wish the team well with their latest venture in Wales.”

Representatives of Skyline Enterprises, the New Zealand-based company behind the proposals, recently visited Swansea to hold a series of consultation events in the local community as part of the planning process.

Further opportunities for comment will also be made available as part of a planning application process later in 2023.

Cllr Rob Stewart, Swansea Council Leader, said: “We welcome this commitment from the Welsh Government and are also in on-going funding discussions with Skyline as part of a partnership that will, subject to planning consent, bring a truly world-class outdoor leisure destination to Swansea.

“These proposals would be worth up to 100 new jobs created directly as a result of the project as well as hundreds more during construction. It would also bring one of the first attractions of its kind in the UK to the city, significantly boost our visitor economy and help encourage more investment in future.

“Skyline are wholly committed to retaining access to the hill as it is now and working closely alongside local groups to boost biodiversity and create a facility we can all be proud of.”

Skyline Enterprises Chief Executive Officer, Geoff McDonald, said: “We are incredibly grateful to the Welsh Government for their very generous support and commitment to Skyline Swansea. Ever since we first came to Wales in 2017 and mooted plans for Kilvey Hill, we have enjoyed an extremely positive relationship with them, and they have shown great enthusiasm for our vision which has a strong strategic alignment with their own tourism strategy.

“If our application is approved, we look forward to working closely with them, and Swansea Council, to deliver a world class leisure destination which will be the first of its kind in the UK and one which we truly believe will deliver lasting dividends for Swansea residents and tourism alike.”

New Zealand-based company Skyline owns and operates two world-class outdoor adventure parks featuring cable car rides and other attractions and restaurants in New Zealand, as well as luge parks in Canada, South Korea, and Singapore. Skyline Swansea would be part of their international expansion, if the project gets the go-ahead.