Two new visitor attractions proposed for Cardiff Bay


Proposals for two new visitor attractions aimed at further enhancing Cardiff Bay as a leading UK destination for leisure, culture and tourism have been discussed by Cardiff Council's Cabinet yesterday (December 15th) and a decision has been taken to enter into lease agreements with both companies, subject to agreed conditions.

The first, from Finnish company Nordic Urban, could see an outdoor, floating swimming pool and sauna facility, similar to their facility in Helsinki, brought to the graving docks near Techniquest.

The second, a proposal from Skyview, is to build a 90-metre-high balloon ride with a rotating viewing platform on unused land close to the Red Dragon Centre. The platform would give panoramic views of the city and the waterfront of up to 20 miles.

The council's future vision for Cardiff Bay was recently presented to potential investors at MIPIM 2021, where discussions with both companies began, to attract these two, high-quality, leisure-based attractions to Cardiff, for both visitors and residents to enjoy.

Cllr Russell Goodway, Cabinet Member for Investment and Development, said: "This administration has been clear from the outset about our commitment to rejuvenate Cardiff Bay. It's our intention to transform this historic part of Cardiff into a leading UK destination for leisure, culture and tourism, increasing visitors and, just as importantly, creating more jobs and opportunities for local people.

"Both developments will be privately funded and the Council's only contribution is to make the land available."

Proposal by Nordic Urban -The graving docks which are listed by Cadw comprise of three structures that were built between 1850 and 1900. The surrounding area which includes Mermaid Quay, Techniquest and St David's Hotel has benefited from significant investment over the years, but due the restraints on development, the graving docks has not been developed. Nordic Urban propose to use two of the docks for their investment, with the third dock closest to Havannah Street remaining in place for private moorings. The proposal includes:

  • Floating outdoor swimming pools (heated and not heated)
  • A new building between the two graving docks for Finnish saunas, wellbeing spaces, changing facilities, as well as a restaurant and bar 

Proposal by Skyview -On land to the rear of the Red Dragon Centre, the company propose to build a 90-metre-high balloon ride with a rotating viewing platform to give panoramic views of the city and the waterfront providing a different experience to the ‘big wheel' attractions seen in many cities.

Following the announcement by the council on the Cardiff Bay Masterplan, Skyview identified Cardiff as an opportunity to locate their first UK based ride.

The Economy & Culture Scrutiny Committee examined the cabinet report at a public meeting on Monday December 12th. A recording of the meeting can be viewed here the scrutiny published papers are available to view here

Elected Members tested the proposals to understand their rationale and evidence base, the Council's requirements and anticipated outcomes, and the next steps. Following the meeting the Scrutiny Committee wrote to Cabinet with a number of comments. The letter can be viewed here:(Public Pack)Correspondence Following Committee Meeting Agenda Supplement for Economy & Culture Scrutiny Committee, 12/12/2022 17:00 (

Cardiff Council Cabinet considered the recommendations at its public meeting in County Hall yesterday. The meeting's agenda, reports and papers are available to view here