Once a site of Olympic dreams, Sheffield Ski Village is now more of a crumbling ruin filled with bits of old lifts, overgrown dry ski slopes, fresh tinnies dropped by local kids. It’s a strange place, perfect for a picnic or to get a taste of what the apocalypse might look like.
Its first slope opened in 1988 to much fanfare. It was a great success. In the years that followed, the site expanded exponentially. By 1994, there were eight slopes, a bar, a lodge, and shops. Subsequent improvements saw quad bikes, laser tag, and bowling added to the site. Sheffield ski village was on the rise.
By 2014, Olympians were training there, not just one or two, half the British freestyle skiing team. Despite this, however, trouble was already beginning to arise. In April 2012, a fire destroyed the main building. It was ruled an accident, but arson after arson soon followed in the surrounding area. Two separate attacks in May of the same year saw a hut at the top of the main slope burnt down and the nursery slope partially destroyed.
Sheffield Ski Village was closed to the public after these initial attacks, but that didn’t stop later arsonists from targeting the site. Perhaps the appeal was to try and burn down something that, at least symbolically, was made of snow; perhaps it was just an easy target, isolated on an otherwise deserted part of the hill as it was. Either way, the ski village has suffered over 50 different arson attacks.
These days, the Sheffield Ski Village is now mostly used for dumping trash and illegal graffiti. That said, it can still draw a crowd on a pleasant summer’s day. It’s a curiosity if little else, a modern ruin just a decade after its heyday. But there are plans to resurrect it.
In 2016, Sheffield City Council started seeking investors to rejuvenate the site. The next year, a development company won a bid to redevelop it into a £22.5 million extreme sports center. (Though very little has changed since then.)
According to the Sheffield Star, the city council terminated the contract with the original developer in August 2021, and by January 2022 was in talks with a new company to redevelop the site. But for now, it remains to be seen whether the Sheffield Ski Village will ever return to its former glory.