Attractions industry news

30 Aug 2019

Several hurdles to clear for proposed £75m Bournemouth waterpark

A proposed £75m (US$91.3m, €82.7m) waterpark and spa near Bournemouth will be the biggest in the UK, if it's able to gain approval and raise the necessary funding.

Projected to open in 2023, Elysium Water Park UK would be a year-round attraction, with both a tropical indoor and an outdoor waterpark. Featuring VR and AR synchronised water rides and transparent flumes, the attraction would create 500 jobs and be able to accommodate more than a million visitors each year.

According to the project's website, the development will deliver "the ultimate waterpark paradise", as well as a high-quality wellness and beauty spa that would include facilities such as a sauna, hammam spas, massage and beauty treatments and exercise and dance options.

Set on a 75-acre site near Bournemouth Airport at Hurn, the plans also include a lagoon surf park, although this would be developed through a different company, Adventure Out There 365.

The project is being led by Costa Acodrinesei, who told the Bournemouth Echo the idea was "something very spectacular".

"It's a very big vision but I know we can do it," he said.

There are a number of issues to resolve before then however, and the newspaper report goes on to outline these: finance has not been raised, although there are said to be a number of significant interested investors; there is currently no business plan in place; the proposed site is a green belt area and is close to a site of special scientific interest; the scheme does not have planning consent as yet, and dialogue has so far been only with members of the previous ruling council; there are also infrastructure issues in the location, requiring major road improvements.

"I am concerned that those promoting this proposal seem to be using premature marketing to give the impression that it is a done deal," said councillor Margaret Phipps. "It's far from that. BCP is a new council, with many new members, and there is not even an application to consider."

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