Birmingham ready to build UK's most landlocked wave pool

August 30, 2019 | Surfing
Emerge Surf: Birmingham will have a wave pool powered by Wavegarden | Photo: Emerge Surf

Birmingham is set to become home to the UK's most landlocked wave park after plans for a new £25 million facility were revealed today.

The planning application lodged by Emerge Surf is for a 15-acre site, approximately seven miles to the east of Birmingham's city center at Coleshill.

Features include a 5.4-acre surf lagoon, powered by Wavegarden's Cove technology, an outdoor heated swimming pool, a perimeter track for Onewheel self-balancing electric skateboards, and a 1,600 square-meter hub building.

The park will be named Emerge Surf Birmingham and will 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.

With the closest surfable ocean waves more than 100 miles away, this new facility will be a haven for landlocked surfers and those keen to try the sport for the first time.

Running on Renewable Energy

Situated in North Warwickshire, the wave park will be easily accessible from the M6 and M42 motorways with more than 7.6 million people within a one hour drive of the venue and 27 million within two hours.

It is also close to Birmingham Airport, Birmingham International Railway Station and the future HS2 Interchange Station, making it a fascinating destination for local, national and international visitors.

Emerge Surf Birmingham is expected to create 100 full-time equivalent jobs, attract around 250,000 visitors a year, and deliver an annual economic boost of between £18 million-£21 million to the region.

The development is aiming to use renewable energy and low carbon technologies to keep environmental impact to a minimum.

Current World Surf League (WSL) Big Wave Tour world champion Grant "Twiggy" Baker is on board as an ambassador for Emerge Surf, alongside the UK's top professional surfers Peony Knight and Luke Dillon.

Olympic gold medallist Tessa Sanderson CBE is the park's non-surfing ambassador.

Water Safety and Adaptive Surfing

Emerge Surf Birmingham will work in partnership with national governing body Surfing England to deliver certificated surfing tuition and with registered charity Surf Life Saving Great Britain on a wide range of courses for water safety.

"There has never been a more exciting time to be involved in surfing. We are in the midst of an artificial wave revolution which will bring our sport and our passion to a whole new audience," underlines Ben Powis, operations director at Surfing England.

Emerge Surf is also partnering with The Wave Project to deliver therapy through surfing to local children suffering from a range of mental health issues.

"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," notes Steve Price, founder, and CEO of Emerge Surf.

"Also, 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."

The current timings for the wave park - subject to planning approval - show construction commencing late 2019. The structure is expected to in Spring 2021.

Other similar facilities can be found in Snowdonia (operational since 2015) and 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.