Bear Grylls Adventure: TV star unveils new £20 million attraction set for Birmingham NEC - with VIDEO
TV adventurer Bear Grylls today unveiled details of the first ever attraction to bear his name – a £20 million project now under way at the NEC in Birmingham.
He is lending his name to a major attraction being developed by Merlin Entertainments, the company that owns Alton Towers, Legoland and Madame Tussauds.
And Bear went up Cnicht in Snowdonia to raise the flag for the attraction, which will include some of the highest free rope courses in Europe, an indoor skydiving experience and a climbing wall.
The Bear Grylls Adventure is due to open at the NEC next summer and will extend over 86,000sq ft.
As well as the diving, climbing and high ropes, there will be a Basecamp area where visitors can learn and practice the skills needed to take on four group and individual challenges.
Since learning his survival and outdoor skills in the SAS, Bear has starred in TV shows like Man vs Wild and Born Survivor, becoming the most recognised face of adventure in the world. He is also chief scout.
Merlin says it is taking inspiration from Bear's real-life global adventures to give guests "the ultimate platform to test and push themselves on authentic recreations of Bear's favourite challenges".
That includes deep diving, the iFLLY indoor skydiving, climbing walls designed to recreate an ice wall on Everest, the boulders of Fontainbleu and the sheer rocky face of El Capitan.
There will also be a zip slide from a Chinook helicopter onto the highest free ropes in Europe.
Bear Grylls said: "I have been fortunate enough to experience some of the toughest physical and mental tests known to mankind. When your greatest fears are laid bare, you must keep your nerve and the only option is to be bold.
"You should never give up and this is the spirit I aim to pass on to as many people as possible.
"The scale of challenges that can be found at Bear Grylls Adventure mean that everyone can find the courage and use their brains to conquer their own Everest."
He added: "This incredible new adventure promises a totally unique experience for visitors, testing the skills, strength and nerve of the most intrepid thrill seekers - you can fly, dive, climb, ice climb or take on the high ropes, and you can practice some of the core skills for adventure at our base camp. We're opening up access to some of the most incredible terrains and adventures possible."
Nick Varney, chief executive of Merlin Entertainments, added: "Nine out of 10 you adults are seeking adventure and as our lives become even more digitally focussed, people are looking for ways to connect with genuine feelings of achievement.
"What better way to do this than taking on challenges that Bear himself has experienced.
"Bear has the perfect experience of guiding people through amazing experiences worldwide, while also constantly striving personally to push himself further, and both clearly come through in the attraction."
Prices and activity times will vary for different activities, with Basecamp entry tickets starting at £25. With the attraction at the NEC within easy reach of the Midlands and London, Merlin is expecting demand for tickets to be high.