Developer’s frustration over delay to long-awaited water park

Anton Hoefter whose company will be operating the water park and Roland Duce at the Alpamare waterpark in Bad T�lz, Germany.
Anton Hoefter whose company will be operating the water park and Roland Duce at the Alpamare waterpark in Bad T�lz, Germany.

The developer behind a multi-million pound all-weather 
water park in Scarborough has spoken of his frustration over delays to the scheme.

In an exclusive interview Roland Duce, the man behind the regeneration of the North Bay, told The Scarborough News the £14 million attraction was progressing well behind the scenes.

However, he said he was unhappy with the time it was taking and now fears the opening date, which he hoped would be Easter 2013, will now be put back.

He said: “The story is it’s progressing extremely well. We are really pleased with the way everything is going, but we are not pleased with the time it’s taking. Everything takes such a long time when it’s such a big project.”

It was originally hoped construction would begin in February, however legal and traffic management issues involving North Yorkshire County Council have held-up the scheme.

“On the one hand you need to be patient. On the other for us it is desperately frustrating because we want to get on with it,” said Mr Duce.

“This will be one of the biggest construction projects that will ever happen in Scarborough, so it has to be done right. In terms of how everything else is going, it’s better than it has ever been.”

The attraction, near the Open Air Theatre, will form part of a £150 million leisure complex.

It is expected to attract up to half a million visitors a year and is set to include a wave pool, a lazy river and an infinity pool overlooking the North Sea. The big draw is expected to be a flume known as the Tornado, which will be the biggest of its kind in the country.

The 1,500-capacity water park will be operated by German company Alpamare. Once it is completed, Mr Duce, who bought out Benchmark Leisure in 2010, will then build lodges, which will be log cabins with hot tubs, before starting work on a holiday village on top of the cliff.

Mr Duce said Easter’s freezing temperatures, which saw visitor numbers drop in Scarborough, highlighted the necessity for an all-weather attraction.

“In Germany they have absolutely proved this works when the weather is cold.

“There’s lots to do in Scarborough in a lovely sunny day, but what do you do when it’s too cold to go on the beach?” he said.

“We want something that’s really healthy and good fun for the family that can be enjoyed whatever the weather. At the water park people can come back every day if they want.”

Last week the Scarborough News revealed construction work on the water park could start next month.

On May 13, Scarborough Council is expected to rubber-stamp a legal agreement, which will allow the development to finally get underway.

The water park scheme, which was finally approved by planners last August, includes a restaurant and car park, on the site of the existing Burniston Road car park.

There will also be 29 holiday lodges on the former Kinderland site, and 124 holiday homes at Bay View, formerly Mr Marvel’s.