Sheffield Ski Village
Sheffield Ski Village was an artificial ski slope complex in the Parkwood Springs area of Sheffield, England until destroyed by fire in 2012. It was believed to be the largest artificial ski resort in Europe with a sports shop, bar, restaurant and a range of slopes which include a Snowflex nursery slope, a dendix recreational slope and a freestyle park consisting of a half pipe, hip jump, kicker, a quarter pipe and various grind rails. The Sheffield Ski Village was also one of the main training grounds for the Yorkshire Freestyle Squad and many professional freestyle skiers, such as James "Woodsy" Woods (Men's Ski Slopestyle, fifth place in the 2014 Winter Olympics, second place in the Voss 2013 FIS Freestyle World Ski Championships, third place in the 2013 Aspen Winter X Games, third place in the 2011 Tignes Winter X Games Europe) and Katie Summerhayes (Women's Ski Slopestyle, seventh place in the 2014 Winter Olympics). Other significant British athletes who trained at Sheffield Ski Village include Ellie Koyander (Women's Moguls, 2010 Winter Olympics) and Paddy Graham (Pro freeskier sponsored by Red Bull.) Most of the former were also active members of the Sheffield Sharks Ski Club during their childhood and early teenage years.
In 1987 an application by the now largest shareholder John Fleetman was accepted, the first slope at the ski village opened in October 1988. The ski village proved popular and by the end of 1990 the ski village had 8 slopes. During 1991 to 1994 the ski village underwent a significant re-design - adding a ski loge, bar and shops. The slopes where also re-designed during this period to add a half pipe and moguls.
Sheffield Sharks Ski Club
The Sheffield Sharks Ski Club met at Sheffield Ski Village on Saturday mornings and Thursday evenings. The club was formed in 1990 to promote children's skiing, both at recreational and competitive levels. In 2004, the club became the CCPR UK Sports Club of the Year. The club was run on a voluntary basis by an elected committee of parents, with a dedicated team of instructors. Older members had the opportunity to become ski instructors themselves, and often instructed the younger children on the Saturday sessions. Sharks Ski Club continues to thrive but now meets at Xscape, Castleford on Saturday mornings from 9-11 am.
In addition to the Ski Village slopes there was a ten pin bowling alley, quad biking, laser tag and a downhill biking track designed by Steve Peat. Ski Village Bowling housed a state of the art ten pin bowling alley which opened in 2009. The full sized ten pin bowling lanes were built with Brunswick technology.
On 29 April 2012, the main building of the Ski Village was destroyed by a fire. The blaze occurred in the early hours of the morning and no-one was injured. This fire was subsequently ruled to have started accidentally, with subsequent fires on the site being treated as arson.
On 1 May 2012, a small hut at the top of the main slope containing controls for the ski lifts was destroyed in a second fire in the early hours of the morning.
On 21 May 2012, the former snowflex nursery slope was partially destroyed in a third fire, again started deliberately.
On 24 April 2013, the remaining wooden outbuildings of the former Adventure Mountain outdoor playground were set on fire, destroying the only remaining infrastructure on the site.
On 11 April 2017, a further arson attack at the site occurred after two fires were started.
Since the initial fire, the site has remained closed to the public aside from a brief attempt by the Sharks Ski Club to hold sessions in May 2012, which were stopped when the ski lift motors and power ancillaries were stolen. The site has stood derelict and has been blighted by significant fly tipping, theft and vandalism ever since. By August 2016 the site had suffered from about 50 arson attacks.
Campaign to rebuild
A local campaign group formed by members of the former slope management staff has been started with the objective of eventually reopening the former Ski Village site and operating it as a hub for snowsports excellence in the UK. The Snowsport for Sheffield group is headed by former Ski School manager Al Bister, and Paul Yiend former Snowboard Instructor and has already generated significant support from local residents and notable press coverage.
On 9 December 2016, Sheffield City Council asked for potential investors to propose future uses for the site. The preferred uses for the site by the council are for a snowsports centre or mountain bike centre. Developers had until 7 April 2017 to submit their proposals. However, due to stronger then expected interest in development for the site Sheffield City Council extended the deadline by a further two weeks till the 21st of April.
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- Ski Village website
- Fire at Sheffield's Ski Village Website
- Snow sports for Sheffield - an organisation dedicating to rebuild
- Documents from Sheffield city council for developers regarding future uses of the site