Construction of a £25m surf park eight miles outside Birmingham’s city centre has moved a step closer after North Warwickshire Borough Council voted in favour of the project.
The facility at Coleshill will feature a 5.4-acre surf lagoon, outdoor heated swimming pool, surf school, surf shop, and a track for electric skateboards and multi-purpose fitness studio
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 voted to support the planning application for the 15-acre site.
Midlands-based surfers currently have to travel more than 100 miles for the closest surfable ocean waves.
Steve Price, founder and CEO of Emerge Surf, said: “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.
“Our focus now is on finalising our funding structure, progressing on-site groundworks, which we expect to start before the end of this year and working collaboratively with all partners as we prepare to open to the public in early 2022.”
Councillor David Wright, leader of North Warwickshire Borough Council, said: “North Warwickshire Borough Council is pleased to welcome this development and I thank our Councillors on the Planning and Development Board for their decision. We are all keen to see our economy bounce back from the covid-19 outbreak and this is a major boost for our economy, particularly the very hard-pressed leisure and tourist sector. This will also boost physical activity levels in our area and there is an extensive community programme being worked up to include communities and schools.
“We are looking forward to this project progressing and for North Warwickshire to become famous not just as a centre for cycling and golf, but also for surfing.”
Dates referenced for the start of groundworks and public opening are subject to the proposed development being referred to the secretary of state.