A common saying about Manchester is that it’s a city that has “everything except a beach”. However, while it may not be about to get a golden mile, it does seem set to become a serious surfing venue.
A planning application has been submitted for a £60 million surfing lagoon, the brainchild of developer McKinney Group. Their plan involves constructing the facility close to the Trafford Centre, with the facility aimed at people of all ages and abilities. It will also include a café, restaurant, pop-up beach bats, surf shop, fitness zone and bouldering facility.
If it gets the green light, water feature designers will soon be busy putting the details of the blueprint together. The lagoon itself will be powered by artificial wave-generation firm Wavegarden.
Commenting on the plans, managing director of the McKinney Group Brian McKinney said the firm is “very excited” to have submitted the planning application, which he noted has been done “off the back of months of discussions with the local community, stakeholders and planning officers and, of course, our online consultation at the start of the year.”
He noted that the ‘Trafford City’ area “already has a huge and growing leisure offer,” adding that the firm is “bringing something new to the area that is thrilling, interactive and accessible to be enjoyed by surfers of all abilities”.
Other major leisure offerings in the vicinity include Trafford Golf Centre, the Sea Life Centre, indoor wintersports at the Chill Factore, Indoor play at the Play Factore and the iFly indoor skydiving centre, in addition to the shopping, dining and leisure facilities in the Trafford Centre.
The addition of such a facility may help Manchester compete as a holiday destination with more traditional UK surfing hotspots such as the north coast of Cornwall, a county whose tourism industry has been receiving its own global boost by the county hosting this week’s G7 summit.