Dorset

Plans for artificial surfing lagoon near Bournemouth revealed

A site plan of the proposed surf park Image copyright BrightSpace Architects
Image caption A site plan of the proposed surf park

Plans for a £35m wave-generating lagoon for surfers have been revealed.

The 15-acre inland park near Bournemouth will feature a wave machine capable of making more than 2,400 ocean-like waves per hour.

It is based on the successful Surf Snowdonia artificial surfing lake in Wales.

The company behind the plans, the Lagoon Project, claims it could attract more than 500,000 visitors to the surf park each year.

Building work on the complex, which could include a 145-bedroom hotel and glamping site, is expected to start later this year with an opening date of summer 2022.

Image caption The surf park plan is based on an artificial lagoon in Snowdonia

Matt Radford, from The Lagoon Project, said: "This will be a destination for every family member to participate in the watersports as well as inland activities."

He said the organisation hoped to raise private finance for the project once the planning process was under way.

BCP Council director Bill Cotton said: "The Lagoon fits in with the coastal watersports lifestyle of the area, and would be an all-year round attraction."

Bournemouth was home to Europe's first artificial surf reef, off Boscombe.

The £3.2m reef, made of 55 giant sandbags, opened in 2009 after lengthy delays, but closed two years later when it was damaged by a boat's propeller.

The firm behind the reef, New Zealand-based ASR Limited went into liquidation during repair work in September 2012.

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