Ski slope planned for Merthyr could become training hub for UK Olympic athletes
Anthony Lewis, local democracy reporter
A snow centre and holiday resort planned for Merthyr Tydfil could become a training hub for UK Olympic and elite athletes and the UK National Centre of Excellence for snow sports.
Leisure resort development Rhydycar West is submitting a planning application this summer, after collaborating with international operators GB Snowsports and Snowsport Cymru Wales, who have endorsed the plan.
The development is set to include a tropical indoor water park, luxury hotels and the UK’s longest indoor snow centre comparable to the largest in Europe, alongside guest lodges, an adventure centre and glamping.
The 575-acre site is owned by Marvel Limited and the plan is to make it one of the premier tourist destinations in the UK.
The intention is to create a facility that will become the home for British snow sports, and a national centre of excellence and ongoing development.
GB Snowsports head coach, Pat Sharples, has already been involved with planning discussions and committed his support.
He said: “GB Snowsport are really excited to be involved with the development of a national centre of excellence for Snowsports based in Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales.
“The proposals that include a 400m indoor snow training hill suitable for international standard events to be delivered across the different disciplines of snow sport will be game changing for the development of our Olympic and Para skiers and snowboarders.”
Through planning discussions, ideas have been proposed for sports development and commercial opportunities including a supplementary freestyle airbag jump that could be used for the training and development of elite snow sport athletes, as well as for leisure purposes.
Lyn Williams is the marketing and communication consultant for the project and said that more and more possibilities were being realised as enthused conversations continued.
He said that Rhydycar West had positioned itself as a truly unique experience that combines world-class “all year round” facilities that also includes a tropical water park, hotels, an adventure centre, gyms and spas, all ideal for thrill-seeking holidays and relaxation where the great outdoors meets the great indoors.
The master plans for the snow centre and resort are in the final stages of completion with an expected launch imminent and a public consultation estimated to be taking place in May.
Those who are interested in the public consultation and project developments can subscribe to newsletter updates and take part in a survey on the project website www.rhydycarwest.com.