The huge £10 million-plus expansion of Waterworld in Stoke-on-Trent is now starting to take shape.
Steelwork is being erected for the shell of a three-storey extension which will tower over the existing Festival Park complex, plus a separate tower to house some of the largest water slides of their kind in Europe.
It is part of a major upgrade of the leisure attraction – which is already the UK’s number one indoor water park – as it begins a series of celebrations to mark its 30th anniversary year.
Millionaire businessman Mo Chaudry has been masterminding the growth of Waterworld since 1999, when he took over the previously loss-making operation from The Rank Group and turned it into a thriving and profitable business.
Waterworld alone now attracts more than 350,000 visitors a year, but the expansion is expected to push the leisure site’s footfall over the one million mark.
When the 75,000 sq ft expansion is complete, the Waterworld complex will unveil a host of new features, including:
It is hoped that the new water rides will open in time for the May half term break, with the golf attraction due to launch in October.
The new changing rooms will be open by easter, while the remainder of the work is scheduled to be completed before the end of the year.
Mo said: “It’s going to be a very special year for Waterworld, as we look back over three amazing decades to remind us of the incredible journey we have been on – while also investing heavily to ensure a bright and even more exciting future.
“Waterworld is already one of the largest leisure attractions of its kind, but you don’t get anywhere by standing still; you always have to be thinking of the next big innovation.
“The new rides are something really special. The tallest of them will be fully four metres higher than anything we have had here before, which is why we are having to raise the roof.
“In the current climate, people need to experience something which is going to be extra special, and even more memorable, if they are to part with their hard-earned cash – and that’s what we are committed to offering.”
Mo added: “It’s great news for the region. Not only will Waterworld and the indoor Adventure Mini golf attraction be offering incredible facilities for local people, but they will also bring in even more inward tourism.
“It’s exciting that, after all the careful planning, the development is now starting to physically take shape. I’m like everyone else – I just can’t wait to see the final result and make use of everything it has to offer.”
The Waterworld site is also being fitted with a new environmentally-friendly boiler system which will be used to control the temperature of the water, and the interior of the pool areas.
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