Plans for £25m artificial wave surf park in landlocked Midlands

Plans are being lodged to build a £25 million wave park with a surfing school miles from the nearest coastline.

The proposals would see a 5.4-acre artificial surf lagoon along with an outdoor heated pool and other facilities at Coleshill in Warwickshire.

Its planned location is only about a dozen miles from the geographic centre of England – Fenny Drayton in Leicestershire – with developers describing it as the “most landlocked” park of its type.

Emerge Surf, which has submitted the application to North Warwickshire Borough Council, said the site could create 100 new jobs and attract up to 250,000 visitors a year.

  • 5.4-acre surf lagoon
  • Creating 100 full-time equivalent jobs
  • Attracting up to 250,000 yearly visitors

Steve Price, founder and CEO of Emerge Surf, said: “It’s an incredibly exciting time in the development of surfing.

“The mental and physical benefits of the sport are increasingly understood and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will hugely increase levels of interest and participation.

“In parallel, the significant strides made in wave pool technologies have the potential to make the sport accessible to all.”

He added the idea was to provide a “world class surfing experience for surfers of all levels”.

The park, which will be known as Emerge Surf Birmingham, will also feature a perimeter track for Onewheel electric skateboards, as well as other amenities under the roof of a main “hub” building.

Mr Price said the plans also have the backing of national governing body Surfing England and several top professional UK surfers.

He added: “We’re confident that bringing a little slice of the ocean to Birmingham will deliver a positive social impact and boost mental and physical well-being.

“In addition, we’re very keen to work with local schools not only to teach children to surf, but also to offer swimming lessons and instruction in water safety.”

Building work at the 15-acre site could start as soon as later this year, subject to planning permission being granted, with doors opening in spring 2021.

Ben Powis, Surfing England operations director, said: “There has never been a more exciting time to be involved in surfing.

“We are in the midst of an artificial wave revolution which will bring our sport and our passion to a whole new audience.

“Emerge Surf Birmingham is absolutely part of the revolution and we are stoked to be supporting them as their plans develop to bring a world class facility to the Midlands.”

A similar lagoon exists in Snowdonia while another is under construction in Bristol.

There are also separate plans for wave-generating lagoons in Edinburgh, where planning permission at a former quarry site was secured in June, and Bournemouth.

Read Full Story

FROM OUR PARTNERS