GREEN LIGHT: Huge £60m surfing lagoon approved close to the Trafford Centre
Modern Surf CGI, Image: Peel L&P
Plans have been approved to bring a £60m surfing lagoon close to the Trafford Centre.
Belfast-based property developer, McKinney Group, sent their proposals into Trafford council back in June, in the hope of creating a ‘world-class’ haven in Greater Manchester.
Now, the plans have been given the green light by council officials.
The wave garden will be accessible for all ages and abilities, and there’ll also be a cafe, restaurant terrace, pop-up beach bars, surf shop, bouldering space and fitness zone on site.
Powered by Wavegarden, a man-made, wave-generating technology firm, they say the proposed surfing complex will create consistent waves, perfect for beginners, learners and professionals to test their skills.
Submitting the plans over the summer, Billy McKinney, managing director at McKinney Group, said: “We are really excited to have submitted our plans to Trafford council, off the back of months of discussions with the local community, stakeholders and planning officers and, of course, our online consultation at the start of the year.
“We want to thank everyone who got involved with our consultation and let us know what they thought of our plans to deliver the North West’s first inland surfing facility, and we are delighted that over 85 per cent of all feedback received expressed support for our proposals.
“TraffordCity already has a huge and growing leisure offer and we are looking forward to bringing something new to the area that is thrilling, interactive and accessible to be enjoyed by surfers of all abilities.”
The hope is for the facility to open to the public from 2023.
The site in TraffordCity, owned and managed by Peel L&P, encompasses The Trafford Centre and its surrounding 3.5 million square feet of retail, leisure and office space.
James Whittaker, executive development director at Peel L&P, said: “It’s fantastic to see the plans for this unique and world-class facility move forwards, following the public consultation period. At Peel L&P, we’re committed to investing and developing TraffordCity for the benefit of the local community and economy.
“Our partnerships with developers and leisure businesses, such as McKinney Group, continue to enable us to make the TraffordCity one of the most experiential retail and leisure destinations in the UK.”
The proposals are expected by developers and sponsors to draw more than 350,000 new visitors to the area, create 240 permanent jobs (with a further 60 during its construction) and could generate around £18m per year for the local economy.
The £60 million scheme will be located on Peel L&P’s brownfield site off Barton Dock Road in Trafford Park. It will be the first inland surfing facility to open in the North West.
Words: Alice Richardson, Local Demcoracy Reporter
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