£80 million waterpark and hotel plans for safari park
It will create the biggest waterpark ever seen in our region, with a maze of slides and pools.
Water slides, a jungle and even beaches are among the exotic visions for West Midland Safari Park under an £80 million expansion that will create 500 jobs.
The park, near Bridgnorth, is already one of Britain's biggest tourist attractions, with 750,000 visitors every year.
Now it wants to expand with an indoor water park and 250-bedroom hotel.
The plan will allow it to compete with attractions like Alton Towers, which already has a hotel and water park attached to its theme park in Staffordshire.
And bosses say it will turn the existing day attraction into a resort which will attract thousands more visitors from across the country and overseas.
Plans are also in the pipeline to link the safari park with the nearby Severn Valley Railway, which stretches from Bridgnorth to Kidderminster. A new stop would be introduced serving the park.
Under the plans, the water park would have a jungle-themed environment.
There will be pools, rides and slides set around specially created coves and beaches.
Officials say the park would be built on the side of Bunkers Hill and there will be a landscaped area at the entrance.
The building, which has the slides snaking out of the side, gradually reveals a more African inspired style.
It also provides glimpses of the slides to heighten visitors' anticipation. Once inside the interior of the park naturally drops away utilising an existing slope.
This is where the jungle environment is located.
The building will also include a shop and a restaurant.
Full plans for the water park at the Bewdley attraction are set to be submitted to Wyre Forest District Council in August.
The safari-style hotel will be designed as a 'journey of exploration' for visitors with a pool, gym and terrace.
There will even be a look-out tower offering views over the park.
Officials said visitors would enter the complex through a 'wow zone' which will run the full height of the building.
And they say the design will be 'something exciting' but refused to give further details as the final plans had still to be finalised.
The hotel will have 250 bedrooms with a mix of family and executive facilities alongside various size suites.
Bars and restaurants will also be included in the development which will sell a variety of different cuisines.
The conference area, called the Confex Centre, will have banqueting and exhibition facilities for 1,000 people.
People living near the park are now being given the chance to see the plans.
Nick Laister, senior director of the park's planning advisers RPS, said: "This is the biggest transformation of the park since it first opened and represents a major investment of £80 million.
"Plans for the water park are more advanced as we plan to submit a full planning application for the development next month.
"However we will only be putting in outline plans for the hotel and conference centre.
"Full details will be finalised at a later date."
Mr Laister said the team had worked hard to bring the safari park's vision to life with the view of creating a year-round resort.
People who would like to attend the exhibition at the park should report to the main entrance from 11am onwards.
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