London will become the first capital city in the world to offer an inland wave pool. The structure will be built less than 10 miles away from London's city center.
British company The Wave plans to build a £40m project in Lee Valley Regional Park, a 10,000-acre park located northeast of Greater London, in England.
The announcement was made by Lee Valley Regional Park Authority (LVRPA) and The Wave, who are already building a similar wave pool in Bristol.
If plans are approved by the London Borough of Enfield and the Mayor of London, The Wave London would offer a new purpose-built surfing lake and could feature other elements, such as a high-performance surfing and skateboarding center, health and rehabilitation, cycle trails, high ropes, and glamping accommodation.
The Wave London will allow people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities to have a go at surfing, whether it's a child stepping on a surfboard for the first time or a pro surfer training for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
The Wave London could become one of two planned wave pools coming to the capital of England. Australian company Surf Lakes recently revealed that they will bring their 5 Waves concept to Londoners.
A decade ago, a private investor announced the construction of a surf park in Silvertown Quays, but the conceptual project never saw the light of day.
The new inland surfing structure aims to be the centerpiece of a reinvigoration of land adjacent to the Lee Valley Athletics Centre in Edmonton, North London and will bring both visitors and jobs to the area.
Lee Valley Regional Park is a 26-mile-long regional park that offers a range of activities from cycling, white water sports, and angling to horse riding, ice skating, and camping.
The park's 10,000 acres comprise a diverse mix of heritage sites, nature reserves, and open green spaces alongside world-class sports venues, attracting over seven million visits a year.
"This leisure development would complement our existing world-class sports venues up and down the 26-mile-long Regional Park, including our three hugely popular London 2012 legacy venues," explains Shaun Dawson, CEO of Lee Valley Regional Park Authority.
The Authority owns three London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games venues: Lee Valley White Water Centre, Lee Valley VeloPark, and Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre.
"Lee Valley Leisure Complex was once a sewage works and rubbish dump. A generation ago, we built what was then Europe's largest leisure center. Now, we hope to bring inland surfing here to create an outstanding new leisure destination for the capital and the region."
Lee Valley Leisure Complex is home to Lee Valley Athletics Centre, which opened in 2007. Activities at the world-class Lee Valley Athletics Centre will continue as usual.
The existing lake in the north of the Lee Valley Leisure Complex will not be affected by The Wave London, and the project aims to enhance its biodiversity.
Lee Valley Golf Course, Lee Valley Camping, and Caravan Park, Edmonton, are also on the site and, if the scheme goes ahead, will close.
LVRPA is exploring opportunities with the London Borough of Enfield to provide alternative facilities for golfers. The site is designated as a Green Belt and has been used for leisure since the 1970s.
Powered by Wavegarden's The Cove
The Wave London will feature the Wavegarden Cove technology. The artificial surf pool will generate up to 1,000 waves per hour, with heights starting at 50 centimeters and peaking at almost two meters.
According to the promoters, the surfing facility will have the potential to host over 80 users at the same time, with its six different surf zones and waves of varying size and power.
According to the annual Watersports Participation Survey by the British Marine Association, surfing is a fast-growing sport, with a 40 percent increase in participation in the last two years.
The survey estimates that there are roughly 650,000 regular surfers in the United Kingdom, and over 2.5 million surf once a year.
For London, the demand for surfing is high - the capital city of England has around 117,000 surfers.
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