VIDEO: Olympics cult hero 'Eddie the Eagle' backs Sheffield Ski Village redevelopment plan

Sheffield Ski Village.
Sheffield Ski Village.

Winter Olympics cult hero Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards has jumped to support plans for a national snow centre reopening at the disused site of Sheffield Ski Village.

The artificial slopes at Parkwood Springs has been plagued by arson attacks since closing several years ago.

But the facility could soon rise from the ashes as Sheffield Council, which owns the site, has formally started a process to transform it into a ‘nationally-significant attraction’.

And British skier Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards, who competed at the 1988 Winter Olympics and set a world record by jumping over six buses at Sheffield in 1995, has thrown his weight behind a plan to turn the site in a snowsports base again.

In a specially recorded message uploaded to YouTube on December 23, he said: “I am supporting bringing back the Sheffield Ski Village. I jumped over 10 cars there and jumped over six buses.

“I loved skiing at Sheffield Ski Village and I want to see it returned. Come on Sheffield, bring it back.”

A shot from the YouTube video of Eddie 'The Eagle' Edwards.

A shot from the YouTube video of Eddie 'The Eagle' Edwards.

Other top skiers have previously expressed their support for the ‘snowsport for Sheffield’ initiative, which was created by a group of professional individuals who want to re-establish Sheffield as the ‘snowsport centre for the UK’. An online petition has gained more than 5000 signatures.

Brothers Robert and James Machon, from Bamford, north Derbyshire, have been top skiers in the England team since they were in their early teens.

In a message recorded in 2014, Robert said: “Help Sheffield to once again become the city for snowsports.”

James, who competed at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, added: “We need the redevelopment now for the next generation.”

Eddie 'The Eagle' Edwards in his heyday.

Eddie 'The Eagle' Edwards in his heyday.

Ski Sunday presenter and snowboarder Ed Leigh said: “I look forward to seeing Sheffield rise again from the ashes.”

Sheffield Ski Village opened in 1988 and at its height attracted around 180, 000 visitors a year. A fire in 2012 forced the site’s closure.

But now, Town Hall bosses are asking investors to put forward ideas to regenerate the site.

The final detailed development proposals will be determined when the council appoints a preferred bidder.