Waterworld splashes out on £12m expansion project

Four new super rides, hailed as the ‘tallest and fastest’ of their kind in the country, are being opened at a Staffordshire water park today as part of a £12m expansion.

The former World’s Strongest Man Eddie Hall will officially open the ‘Tornado Alley’ zone at Waterworld in Stoke-on-Trent which are the centrepiece of a massive expansion.

The new rides – towering up to 16.5 metres above ground level, are Thunderbolt, Cyclone, Stormchaser and Hurricane.

Waterworld owner Mo Chaudry said: “We believe the rides on our top platform are the highest in the UK – and Thunderbolt is also the fastest.

“The opening of these rides marks the end of a mammoth construction project, and the first stage of a huge new era for Waterworld which cements our position as the UK’s number one indoor tropical aqua park.

“In addition to the new rides, we are expanding our outdoor pool area, and have already completed a major upgrade of lockers and changing facilities.

“We also intend to refurbish, theme and expand the existing upper decks and use some of the new build space to provide food and beverage areas with seating and lounging – so that up to 1,500 people can enjoy seeing the action in the waterpark in a relaxed environment.”

Work is also under way on a two storey extension which will soon house a new M Club spa and fitness facility including an indoor sprint running track, children’s soft play area, and Adventure Island Mini Golf attraction.

Chaudry added: “This all adds up to the biggest single investment in Waterworld’s 30-year history, creating new jobs, and providing work for local contractors.”

Waterworld already generates £13m of economic benefit to the local economy every year, according to economic impact research by Staffordshire Tourism.

The expansion has provided work for around 30 different trades, says Chaudry, as well as creating new jobs at Waterworld.

Andrew Broad, of Staffordshire-based Broadstaff Construction, said: “The scheme has provided us with an amazing opportunity to perform a key role in the development and delivery of what is a landmark building and facility within the local area.

David Morrey, managing director of the project’s architects, Hulme Upright at Newcastle-under-Lyme, added: “This has been an incredibly exciting project.

“Co-ordinating all the elements of a construction task on this scale has been an immense challenge, but it has all been worthwhile.

“This latest expansion really establishes Waterworld as a genuine national leisure attraction, and Mo’s continued investment is great for the area.”

Chaudry has been masterminding the growth of Waterworld since 1999, when he took over the previously loss-making operation from The Rank Group.

Waterworld already attracts more than 350,000 visitors a year, but the expansion is expected to lift that figure above the 500,000 mark.

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