Cardiff International Sports Village

Cardiff International Sports Village

Cardiff International Sports Village (Welsh: "Pentref Chwaraeon Rhyngwladol Caerdydd"), which is also known as the Cardiff Sports Village or the ISV, is located in Cardiff Bay in the city of Cardiff, Wales. It is one of the largest regeneration projects currently in the UK. It is a public-private funded project.

The site currently has a 50-metre (164 ft) Olympic standard swimming pool and a temporary ice rink. Upon completion, it will have a snow dome with real snow for skiing and snowboarding, a water sports centre and hotel. It was envisaged to have a 220-metre (722 ft) observation tower and a super-casino, although both schemes are unlikely to ever to be realised. It is possible that some of the sporting facilities will be used as a training venue for the London 2012 Olympics [ [ BBC SPORT | Olympics & Olympic sport | London 2012 | Olympic training venues - Wales ] ] along with the Millennium Stadium, which will host some of the football.

History of the site

In the early part of the 19th century Welsh coal was in much demand throughout the world. Cardiff was the centre of this export trade, but it was under the control of the Bute family. In 1859, the Taff Vale Railway Company created a series of wharves in the mouth of the river Ely. By 1898 the site had a chain ferry (right) which gave Ferry Road its name. A subway was also created for dockers to travel to the site.

The Railway public house, named because of the criss cross of tracks over the site became known as the Red House. This well known inn was used as a beacon to navigate sea going craft until its recent demolition.

When the barrage was completed, the site became prime real estate again with a freshwater lake on the shore. This would eventually become the Cardiff International Sports Village.

Present developments

The present facilities include the Cardiff Arena, which is a temporary ice rink, two new superstores - Morrisons and Toys "R" Us, and the residential developments of Victoria Wharf, Prospect Place and Watermark.

Cardiff Arena

This temporary ice arena has a capacity of 2,500 for ice hockey and is home to the Cardiff Devils.

The ice rink is a prefabricated structure constructed in Finland. Assembly began in 2006 and after a number of delays opened on 6 December 2006.

Cardiff International Pool

The Cardiff International Poolcite web |url=
publisher=Parkwood Leisure |title=Cardiff International Pool|accessdate=2008-02-14
] opened on 12 January 2008 and is a public-private funded project partnership between Cardiff Council (land owner), OLLC which is a partnership between Orion Land & Leisure and Explore Investments (developers) and Parkwood Leisure (operator). [ [ Signing ceremony for pool] ] [ [ Parkwood Leisure manages Cardiff's newest International sport and leisure venue] ] [ [ £32m Olympic pool opens its doors] ] Construction of the GB£32 million facility commenced in April 2006 and includes a m to ft|50|abbr=yes 10-lane competition swimming pool with seating for 1,000 spectators, a m to ft|25|abbr=yes 4-lane warm up/leisure pool, plus 4 flume rides, a beach area with water slides and a gym. [ [ £32m Olympic pool opens its doors] ] [ [ Signing ceremony for pool] ] .

Aborted developments

Super casino

Cardiff Council had bid for the single super-casino licence or one of 8 large casino licences, but was unsuccessful in both bids, although Cardiff Council intend to press for a licence to be granted. [ [ Fight goes on, says Cardiff as Manchester pulls off shock win of only super-casino licence] ]

Viewing tower

A 220 m viewing tower had been proposed for the ISV site. [ [ Take a look at the future of Welsh sport] ]

Future developments

The proposed future developments include a multipurpose covered arena and a canoe slalom centre, which is currently being built.

Pont y Werin

Also proposed is a m to ft|140|abbr=yes bridge, called Pont y Werin, linking the ISV and Penarth costing approximately GB£3.5 million, it would allow a crossing for pedestrians and cyclists. It would also allow the public to travel to the ISV via Cogan railway station. [ [ Cardiff Council's proposed bridge] ] [ [ Cardiff Bay to Penarth Bridge] ] The bridge had been designed by Faber Maunsell along with architects Holder Mathias.

Residential developments

The proposed residential developments include Bay Pointe, which was due to include Wales’ tallest building at 41 storeys, [ [ Bay Pointe the proposed tallest building in Wales] ] although revised plans now see the tallest tower at 33 storeys. [ [ Conran towers bid gets scaled down - icWales ] ]



The site is connected to the national road network via the Cogan Spur on the A4055 and the A4232 and then onto the M4 J33.


The nearest station is Cogan railway station in Cogan, which is approximately 10 minutes away by foot. However, the nearest mainline station is Cardiff Central, adjacent to Cardiff Central bus station.


The site is served by bus services operated by Cardiff Bus. Services 9 and 9A run through the site and terminate at the Heath Hospital via Central Station, while service 35 operates to Gabalfa via Cardiff city centre. Parts of Central Station are currently closed for approximately a year. Buses stop temporarily on Westgate Street instead. [ [ Number 9 & 9A Bus Timetable - Monday - Friday] ] [ [ Number 9 & 9A Bus Timetable - Saturdays] ] [ [ Number 9 Bus Timetable - Sundays & Bank Holidays] ]


The nearest airport is Cardiff International Airport, about 30 minutes away by road, or by rail on the Vale of Glamorgan line from Cogan railway station, which has frequent scheduled and charter flights to the UK, Europe, North America and Africa.


The site is in the Grangetown ward, which is part of Cardiff Council.

Criticism of the project

There has been criticism about the slow pace of development and car centric nature of the scheme. The first projects to be completed were private apartments and two superstores with large car parks. These were ridiculed by local residents for their bland architecture and wasted space.fact|date=July 2008 Concern was voiced that commercial development was being given precedance over the sports facilites. Since then progress has been made with the constuction of the International Pool and the temporary ice rink. These were not without thier controvosies though. Families have protested about the high cost of using the poolfact|date=July 2008

Cardiff Devils fans were left fuming when the ice rinks opening was delayed by 2 months [ [] ] , forcing them to play home fixtures in other cities. Furthermore, in July 2008 it was announced by council leader Rodney Berman that there is a £55m funding shortfall for phase 2 of the project, delaying the construction of the new permanent ice rink/arena and "Las Vegas style" water feature. [ [] ]


External links

* [ Cardiff International Sports Village official site]
* [,3386,4858,4860,4863 Cardiff Council page]
* [ Cardiff Harbour page]
* [ Map of the site]
* [ Cardiff Devils Ice Hockey Team]
* [ Cardiff International Pool official site]
* [ 360° view showing the Cardiff International Swimming Pool and the temporary Ice Rink to the left (blue)]
* [ History of the ISV site]
* [ Bay Pointe residential development site]

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