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Steve Peat races on Parkwood Springs Dual Slalom track. Credit Richard Baybutt
Steve Peat races on Parkwood Springs Dual Slalom track. Credit Richard Baybutt

Half a million reasons to visit the Outdoor City

12 December 2017

Sheffield City Council has welcomed the announcement of its successful bid for funding to create adrenaline fuelled city breaks designed to attract international adventure sports enthusiasts looking for new adventures

Adrenaline Fuelled City Breaks is one of a number of successful projects to receive funding from the Government’s £40million Discover England Fund.

The fund is administered by VisitEngland and the council will be working on a programme of activity to ensure the country stays competitive in the rapidly-growing global tourism industry, by offering world-class English tourism products to the right customers at the right time.

The fund is a central government-funded programme of activity, supported by match-funding by partners in the public and private sectors.

Sheffield’s successful bid will target groups of young, active explorers from northern Europe, Germany, the Netherlands and the Nordic countries of Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland, who will be inspired by Sheffield’s mix of independent culture and the unique outdoor adventures they can take part in.

Sheffield will provide a mix of activities for adventure seekers and allow a new audience of international visitors to tread in the footsteps of world class mountain bikers, cyclists and climbers.

Councillor Mazher Iqbal, Cabinet Member for Business and Investment, said: ‘We are seeing real progress in the development of Sheffield’s status as a world-class tourism destination with The Outdoor City being part of a strategy to attract new visitors.  We know that the adventure market is growing, and that there is real scope to increase England’s share of the adventure sports tourism market. The opportunity, alongside other developments such as that at Parkwood Springs, is to position Sheffield at the heart of that national offer, and to bring a new Europe-wide audience to the tremendous opportunities the city provides, both in the outdoor and night-time economy”

Councillor Mary Lea, Cabinet Member for Culture, Parks and Leisure, said: “Cities are a huge part of the tourism market, and a major draw for international visitors to England.  The number of European citizens taking city breaks has increased by 35 per cent since 2013 with cities particularly popular with our target market of visitors aged under 35. This is a real vote of confidence in Sheffield and our status as the Outdoor City. It is another boost for what is already a unique and high-quality offer, particularly in terms of outdoor activity, but it is also a vote of confidence in the appeal of the city’s culture, nightlife and accommodation.”

VisitEngland Chief Executive Sally Balcombe said: “The calibre of submissions reflects the innovation in product development thriving across the country’s tourism landscape.  The successful projects will boost international and domestic visitor growth creating a step-change in the industry and spreading economic benefits of tourism across England.

“Marketing Sheffield’s winning project showcases the outstanding offer of outdoor, adrenaline fuelled activities and the chance to explore an exciting and vibrant city, discovering its culture, heritage and nightlife.”

Marketing Sheffield is the Destination Management Organisation sitting within Creative Sheffield, the economic development arm of the council and responsible for developing the Outdoor City strategy and which instigated this project.

The half a million pounds win is further evidence that Sheffield has world-class outdoor facilities on its doorstep. The ‘Adrenaline-Fuelled City Break’ project follows the council’s appointment of the EXTREME Destinations-led consortium to deliver a branded sports, leisure and entertainment solution at Parkwood and will help design an offer which will enable international visitors to tread in the footsteps of some of the best extreme athletes in the world.