Bewl splashes out on aqua park that will boost tourism and local economy
27th February 2019
The tourist industry received a major boost yesterday [Tuesday] with the news that a state of the art floating aqua park is to open this summer at Bewl Water. It's expected to attract thousands of visitors from across the South East.
The park, near Lamberhurst, will be the first of its kind in the region and is similar to the inflatable obstacle course that was used for the popular BBC TV show Total Wipeout, hosted by Richard Hammond.
Described as 3000 square metres [32,300 square feet] of “floating, inflatable fun” it is aimed at individuals, groups, adrenaline junkies, families and children.
Andrew Daniells Chief Operating Officer of Markerstudy Leisure who operate Bewl said: “This is a great attraction that complements our existing activities and will encourage people to get even more active and enjoy the great outdoors."
The new aqua park will consist of a range of inflatable attractions such as climbing walls, trampolines, balancing bars, rockers, rollers, blast bags—all set up on the water and manned by a team fully certified in water safety.
Similar attractions at Rutland Aqua Park and The New Forest Waterpark have proved ‘immensely popular’ and successful at bringing in tourist numbers.
“Bewl Water Aqua Park will create around 30 seasonal and full-time jobs,” said Mr Daniells, “and we expect businesses in the area, including hotels, B&Bs, pubs and restaurants to benefit, from the additional visitors brought into the area.”
Tourism plays a vital role in the local economy with nearly five million people visiting Tunbridge Wells and the surrounding area each year, generating more than a quarter of a billion pounds in revenue. Visitors spend on average £60 a day and the industry accounts for eight per cent of local employment.
Deirdre Wells, Chief Executive at Visit Kent said: “We are delighted to be welcoming a brand-new addition to our county’s already impressive tourism offering this summer.
“The aqua park will bring a unique and exciting contribution to Kent and is the first of its kind in the South East of England. We’re hoping for a summer as fantastic as last year’s so our visitors can make the most of everything Kent has to offer.”
Tunbridge Wells Borough Council has also welcomed the attraction. Cllr Jane March, head of Culture, Leisure & Tourism, said: “Tourism is very important for the local economy and I welcome the investment in the area. This sounds like it’s going to be a great attraction and I’m sure the water park will be enjoyed by visitors and locals alike.”
Mr Daniells said Wealden and Rother district councils had been contacted and were grateful to be consulted regarding regulated activities and developments at Bewl Water.
Bewl is already home to the largest stretch of water in the south east, with a host of activities available on and off the water including fishing, laser challenge, cycling, and sailing.
HOW IT WILL WORK…
Bewl Water Aqua Park is due to open the end of May and will operate with timed sessions throughout the day.
There will be a ten minute briefing from the safety team before sessions get underway.
Children must be aged eight + and be more than 1.2 metres tall (3.9 feet). There will also be special sessions for six and seven year olds.
Youngsters aged from eight to 15 must have a responsible adult on the shore for the duration of the session
All customers must be able to swim at least 50 metres (164 feet) unaided but wearing one of the buoyancy vests provided.
Visitors will get free parking and there are facilities for both female and male changing including locker space for valuables.
There’s also plenty of food and drink options courtesy of the Waterfront Café and Boat House Bistro on the water’s edge.
Visitors will be able to book via the official website and make full payment online prior to their visit.
You can register your interest by visiting www.bewlwateraquapark.co.uk