North Yorkshire Water Park plans will lead to further ‘considerable’ investment this year, says boss

The £1m expansion of visitor attraction North Yorkshire Water Park is expected to lead to further ‘considerable’ investment in the business over the next 12 months, according to its chief executive.
North Yorkshire Water Park, near Scarborough. Picture David Harrison.North Yorkshire Water Park, near Scarborough. Picture David Harrison.
North Yorkshire Water Park, near Scarborough. Picture David Harrison.

Earlier this week, Dawnay Estates, the owner of North Yorkshire Water Park, which is located east of Wykeham, near Scarborough, revealed plans to add a new wakeboarding line to its current leisure offering, along with kickers and rails, allowing visitors to expand their skills with experienced instructors.

In addition, new buildings will house a 70-seater café and terrace by the lake, which will be open to the public all year round.

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“The new lakeside buildings will also become a central facility for customers arriving at the park to use both the fishing and water park amenities.

Speaking to The Yorkshire Post, David Steel, chief executive of Dawnay Estates, who joined the business last July, said the plans would lead to the creation of new jobs.

The park recently appointed two new managers. It is also creating another three permanent jobs to add to the three members of staff it already employs. It will also take on up to 30 seasonal staff at the park.

He added that the current investment could lead to a third phase of growth which would see waterside accommodation added to the revenue stream.

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“What struck me post-lockdown last year was that people really wanted to be down there,” he said.

He added: “Having some waterside lodges, pods, self catering, or maybe some touring caravans, all could be thought about and developed.

“That will be a considerable investment but we’re not there yet.

“Accommodation is probably our third phase. We would really like some accommodation ready for next spring.”

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In the meantime, the business plans to add some more land-based activities.

Visitors can already take part in kayaking, the inflatable AquaPark, paddle boarding, open-water swimming, pedalos and more, along with land-based outdoor pursuits such as walking, cycling and running around the lakes.

The North Yorkshire Water Park, which opened in 2017, also houses separate fishing lakes for expert and leisure fishing.

The ‘unbelievable ‘ demand for outdoor watersports last summer led to the decision to continue with investment plans, Mr Steel said.

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Despite the fact that it couldn’t open its AquaPark for Covid-related reasons, there were approximately 11,000 vistors to the water park following the easing of lockdown restriction on July 4. Open water swimming and stand-up paddle boarding proved particularly popular.

During 2021, it expects approximately 25-30,000 visitors to the water park. There are plans for the AquaPark to return this summer following a £15,000-£20,000 investment in new obstacles. “It’s nice getting away to France and Spain but there are some beautiful parts of this country and people are waking up to that fact,” Mr Steel said.

The waterpark is currently a very small part of the Dawnay Estates business, which also includes a caravan park, property, and the sale of mature plants among other things, but the aim is to increase its presence.

“It’s an important and growing part of the business,” Mr Steel said.

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He added: “This year is going to be a transitional year but we’ll be going full steam ahead in 2022.”

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