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Sat December 07 2019

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Plans revealed for £25m surf park in Birmingham

30 Aug A former banker has lodged a planning application with Birmingham City Council to build a £25m surf park seven miles to the east of Birmingham’s city centre at Coleshill.

The planning application for Emerge Surf is for a 15-acre site, with a 5.4-acre surf lagoon with artificial waves, an outdoor heated swimming pool, a perimeter track for electric skateboards and a 1,600 sq metre hub building.

Emerge Surf Birmingham would also be home to a surf school, surf shop, café and restaurant, multi-purpose fitness studio, physio and massage room and children’s play area.

Emerge Surf is the trading name of The Urban Surf Company, set up last year by Stephen Price, a former corporate banker. He is hoping for construction to start before the end of this year and have the park open in spring 2021.

He said: “It’s an incredibly exciting time in the development of surfing. The mental and physical benefits of the sport are increasingly understood and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will hugely increase levels of interest and participation. In parallel, the significant strides made in wave pool technologies have the potential to make the sport accessible to all.

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 “Our vision is to not only provide a world class surfing experience for surfers of all levels, but also a wide range of complementary activities. We are proud to be developing the UK’s most landlocked wave park with the support of our partners, Wavegarden, Surfing England, Surf Life Saving Great Britain, The Wave Project, Future Motion Inc and Seaholm.

“We’re confident that bringing a little slice of the ocean to Birmingham will deliver a positive social impact and boost mental and physical wellbeing. In addition, we’re very keen to work with local schools not only to teach children to surf, but also to offer swimming lessons and instruction in water safety.”

There are also artificial surf parks in Snowdonia (operational since 2015) and in Bristol (currently under construction). Schemes are also proposed near to Edinburgh, where planning permission has been secured, and in Bournemouth where a planning application is still to be submitted

Ben Powis, operations director at Surfing England, said: “We are in the midst of an artificial wave revolution which will bring our sport and our passion to a whole new audience. Emerge Surf Birmingham is absolutely part of the revolution and we are stoked to be supporting them as their plans develop to bring a world class facility to the Midlands.”

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