A major tourism project in Swansea, which is expected to create up to 100 full-time jobs, is set to receive a £4m investment from the Welsh Government. The Skyline tourism attraction, a zip wire and cable car attraction at the city’s Kilvey Hill, will be given the investment as a £3m grant plus £1m in repayable finance.
The Welsh Government said the funding announced for the project is dependent on the scheme being granted planning approval and works starting on site. It would then be allocated in phases throughout the project’s construction and delivery.
New Zealand-based company Skyline Enterprises is behind the £34m venture - one of the biggest single investments in the Welsh tourism and hospitality sector in recent years. Swansea Council is also in advanced discussions about a funding proposal with Skyline, which the company is currently considering.
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Skyline’s proposals for the attraction include a cable car system running from the area of the Hafod Morfa Copperworks to the top of Kilvey Hill, a non-motorised gravity-fuelled downhill karting ride known as the luge, a sky swing, a zipline and food and beverage outlets. The company has said existing pathways and biking trails would be retained, and new ones created, along with picnic areas.
If planning is approved, Swansea would be the first place in the UK and Europe to join other locations to boast a Skyline Enterprises destination - the company has sites across New Zealand, Canada, Singapore, South Korea, and Malaysia.
Deputy Minister for Arts and Sport Dawn Bowden 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 recently visited Swansea to hold a series of consultation events in the local community as part of the planning process. The feedback received at the consultation events will help shape final plans which are likely to be submitted for planning in the summer.
If approved, preliminary works are anticipated to begin on site towards the end of this year with completion due in 2025.
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 is 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 chief executive 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.”