The news that work will start tomorrow on a multi-million pound water park in Scarborough has been heralded by tourism bosses as a major coup for the seaside resort.
Developers believe the long-awaited new attraction in Scarborough’s North Bay which has been in the pipeline for some time, could attract up to half a million visitors a year and provide a real boost for the local economy. Work on site will get underway tomorrow and it is expected to open in time for Easter 2016.
The long-held dream has faced a number of obstacles and in a bid to get the project moving forward members of Scarborough Borough Council have previously agreed a loan to developer, Benchmark Properties Limited, for £9m of the estimated £14m cost of the water park. Legal contracts to allow the water park to go ahead were recently signed off.
The decision to loan cash to the scheme has split opinion but it will be repaid through rental income from the water park operator and anticipated future profits from the delivery of the other elements of The Sands project - a wider regeneration scheme for the North Bay.
Council bosses said that initially the water park will feature “four thrilling water rides, which will be some of the best rides available in the world on a par with those found at premier water parks in Dubai and Florida.” There will also be a wave pool, a luxury spa suite and an outdoor infinity pool.
Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “This is brilliant news for Scarborough. We’ve been delighted to give our full support to this project and it’s great that work will be starting soon.”
“An attraction of this scale will prove to be a real asset for this seaside resort, for people in the town and the many visitors.”
Coun Derek Bastiman, deputy leader of the council and cabinet member for regeneration and planning said: “An attraction of this quality and scale will bring massive economic benefits, not just to Scarborough, but the wider borough and Yorkshire as well, both in the construction phase and once it is open.
“The water park will be an all year round, family attraction, unique to the UK, which will significantly enhance Scarborough’s reputation as a premier coastal resort and have a positive knock on effect on many other local businesses both in terms of attracting extra visitors to the area and providing extra opportunities for the supply chain.”
The park will be operated by German company Alpamare. There are also plans for other features to be added to the water park under future development phases.
Coun Tom Fox, council leader said: “This is the news we’ve all been waiting for and I’m absolutely delighted.
“The hard work that has gone into getting the project to this stage should not be underestimated.”