International Sports Village Development Update


Plans to accelerate the completion of the International Sports Village have taken a step forward following a Cardiff Council Cabinet meeting on the 13thJuly. 

Following the acquisition of all undeveloped land at the ISV peninsula, the Cabinet agreed in principle to enter into an option agreement with Cardiff Peninsula Consortium Ltd last December. Work to develop the legal agreements has been completed and Cabinet have now signed them off.

A report published ahead of the meeting also revealed further details about the energy strategy for the site, which subject to successful funding applications, could see a low carbon heat exchange developed to link the International Pool and the Ice Arena, with the swimming pools being heated using heat created in the process of making ice for the arena. The strategy could also see solar PV installed on existing facilities including the Ice Arena, the International Pool, Cardiff International White Water, and the former Toys R Us building.

The Council had hoped to bring forward plans to finish off the sport and leisure attraction but further work is required to complete the business case given the increase in prices resulting from the current economic conditions. The business case is now expected to come forward later in 2023.

The report identified a series of ‘next steps' to progress the ISV development, including:

  • Completing an agreement with the approved developer this summer to enable work to begin on planning applications.
  • Confirming the long-term strategy for car-parking on site.
  • Continuing the development of a Full Business Case for the sport/leisure attraction that is affordable.
  • The completion of an Outline Business Case for the Energy Strategy.

Cabinet Member for Investment and Development, Cllr Russell Goodway, said: "Moving forward with our land disposal strategy will allow some momentum to grow on the completion of the residential and commercial plots at the International Sports Village. The ISV is a priority for the Council and, despite the challenges posed by the rising interest rates and inflation currently being experienced across the UK economy, we remain committed to our ambition of establishing the area as a premier UK sport and leisure destination."

The land disposal strategy allows the council to retain land ownership throughout the phases of development, rather than disposing of the whole site in one go. This avoids the possibility of ‘land-banking,' where a developer acquires a piece of land as an investment, holding it for future use, and making no specific plans for its development.  

The strategy also seeks to avoid periods of inactivity by requiring the developer to call-down plots against a defined programme of investment, with the first plot required to be called down within 12-months of entering into the agreement. The programme also allows time for the developer to secure planning permission on a plot-by-plot basis, in advance of acquisition.

Prior to the Cabinet meeting, the report on the International Sports Village was scrutinised by the Economy and Culture Scrutiny Committee. A recording of the meeting webcast is available here:

The Cabinet Report is available here, along with a recording of the Cabinet meeting webcast: