Ski slope and leisure resort would be ‘beacon of hope and opportunity’ for Merthyr Tydfil
Anthony Lewis, local democracy reporter
A major ski slope and leisure resort proposed for Merthyr Tydfil has been described as a “beacon of hope and opportunity”, by the leader of the council.
The planning application for the resort was submitted in March and includes plans for the largest and longest indoor multi-run snow centre in the UK. It would be among the longest in the world at around 400m.
It would be the only UK indoor snow centre to conform to International Ski Federation specifications and would be home to the Welsh and GB national, Olympic and Paralympic teams.
The scheme also includes an indoor tropical water park with slides, tubes, a lazy river, a standing wave and surf simulators.
There would also be an indoor and outdoor adventure centre, including zip wires, extreme rides and other attractions, as well as hotels, including a spa and luxury woodland lodges, and a conference and events centre to accommodate about 150 visitors.
Those behind the project say Rhydycar West would create about 1,500 jobs during construction, with around 1,200 of these expected to come from the local area, and about 842 jobs when operational, with around 663 expected to come from the local area.
The project is expected to contribute about £38.1m to the economy each year.
Councillor Geraint Thomas said: “The Rhydycar West project is a beacon of hope and opportunity for Merthyr Tydfil. I am fully aware of its vast economic and social benefits and its potential to bring transformative opportunities to Merthyr Tydfil.
“In particular, the creation of a large number of jobs and substantial investment, combined with creating world-class resort facilities that can be enjoyed by all locally, regionally and all visitors to Wales.
“Leisure attractions such as Bike Park Wales and nearby Zip World have brought increased visitors and tourists to the area however, there is a severe shortage of accommodation, and the addition of the resort would enable the borough and surrounding area to become a real hub for leisure and tourism for the South Wales valleys region and in particular the northern valleys.”
He added: “While I am personally excited about the prospects of Rhydycar West, it’s essential that we await the comprehensive report from our planning department. The scale of this project means a thorough review is paramount.”
Rhydycar West CEO Ali Tyebkhan said: “We appreciate the council’s commitment to due diligence and are looking forward to the conclusion of the review process.
“Our collaboration with the council has been constructive, and we are hopeful that the outcome will reflect the best interests and desires of the Merthyr Tydfil community.
“We have been heartened by the overwhelming support we’ve received from the community and are working together with the Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council through the planning process.
“We understand the anticipation surrounding the resort from the public and are pleased to share that the planning review is progressing steadily.”
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