Plans for a massive new winter sports facility in Cardiff Bay have been met with a mixed reaction from city residents.
Proposals for the International Sports Village were unveiled on Thursday as council bosses announced Helium Miracle 113, a subsidiary of Greenbank Partnerships, will fund and build the next phase of the landmark development.
The plans include a 150m-ski slope, skating arenas and a new 3,000-seater home for the Cardiff Devils ice hockey team as well as bars, restaurants and a hotel.
Rodney Berman, leader of Cardiff City Council, described the development as “very exciting”.
“The creation of these high-quality leisure development attractions will further add to a growing leisure offer that is befitting of a world-class capital city," he said.
Paul Ragan, owner and CEO of Cardiff Devils, said: “This is absolutely fabulous news for the Cardiff Devils, the Devils Community Foundation and the future development of all ice sports throughout Wales.
“It’s the news our passionate fans and growing junior section have been waiting for.”
But some residents fear funds may be diverted away from local housing and parking problems.
There has been some confusion about who is funding the project. Sian Holley, 51, a volunteer at the Butetown History and Arts Centre, questioned why money was being diverted to such a major development in difficult economic times.
“That’s not even something useful. It’s just not very nice the way they deal with the local people,” she said.
But not all Bay residents disapproved of the plans. “I suppose it’s a good thing because we did need it,” said Butetown resident Beverley Ernest.
“I think it’s a good investment for Cardiff. Whether it works is a different matter,” she added.
Liz Musa, Plaid Cymru candidate for Butetown in May’s council election, said: “I can’t think of a problem with a ski slope in the Bay.”
But she warned local residents might not benefit from the facility. “I imagine this activity would be an expensive hobby,” she said.
The second stage of the development is due to be completed by 2017 and will include a car park, retail and leisure facilities and a snow play area.
The council has announced the development will finance itself through the selling of retail space.
But the the project, which has been in the pipeline for several years, has not always run smoothly.
Last year the council ended its contract with developers Planet Ice after claiming the company did not have enough funds to pay for the project.
Update: Amended to make clear Cardiff Council are not paying for the project.