Plans to build the UK’s most landlocked surf park near Birmingham have taken a major step forward after planning bosses voted unanimously in favour of the £25m project, according to the BusinessDesk.com.
Emerge Surf Birmingham was originally unveiled in 2019 and has now received the backing of North Warwickshire Borough Council’s planning and development board.
All 15 voting members minded to support the planning application for the 15-acre site, approximately seven miles to the east of Birmingham’s city centre at Coleshill.
Steve Price, founder and CEO of Emerge Surf, says: “Our aim with Emerge Surf is to bring a slice of the ocean to Birmingham, creating a haven for landlocked surfers and those wanting to try the sport for the first time. I’m thrilled to see such resounding backing from North Warwickshire Borough Council, recognising our vision and being minded to support the project.
“We’re excited to enter the next phase in our plan to deliver a wave park that will be a huge asset to the region and its already renowned visitor economy. It will provide a world-class experience for surfers of all levels, delivering a positive social impact while supporting mental and physical wellbeing. This is alongside creating new jobs, boosting tourism and elevating the region’s reputation as a sport and leisure destination.”
The wave park will feature a 5.4-acre surf lagoon, powered by Wavegarden’s Cove technology, an outdoor heated swimming pool, hub building and a perimeter track for Onewheel electric skateboards. Visitors to the park will also be able to enjoy a surf school, surf shop, café and restaurant, multi-purpose fitness studio, physio and massage room and children’s play area.
It is expected to create 100 full-time equivalent jobs, attract around 250,000 visitors a year and deliver an annual economic boost of between £18 – £21m to the region, reports BirminghamLive.
Emerge Surf Birmingham will be working in partnership with national governing body Surfing England to deliver certificated surfing tuition and with registered charity Surf Life Saving Great Britain on a wide range of courses for water safety, highlights surfing magazine, Carve.
The park is also partnering with The Wave Project to deliver therapy through surfing to local children suffering with mental health issues.
“Bringing a world class wave to Birmingham will be a huge milestone in the growth and development of English Surfing and will undoubtedly open up our sport to a whole new generation of surfers,” says Ben Powis, commercial and operations director at Surfing England.
“Emerge Surf has assembled a talented crew with genuine commitment to developing a facility that not only provides a high performance training and surfing environment, but also capitalises on the health and wellbeing benefits of surfing to deliver far reaching social impact.”
Spreading the word, ambassadors for Emerge Surf include World Surf League Big Wave World Champion Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker, alongside top UK professional surfers Peony Knight and Luke Dillon, while Olympic gold medallist Tessa Sanderson CBE acts as the new park’s non-surfing ambassador.
The start of ground works and the public opening of Emerge Surf Birmingham are subject to the proposed development being referred to the Secretary of State.