Surf therapy coming to Aquarium Top site

The Wave Project is bringing surf therapy to Scarborough through regeneration of the historic Aquarium Top site

By Louise Hollingsworth
Monday, 1st November 2021, 3:31 pm
Updated Tuesday, 2nd November 2021, 9:08 am
A student and a mentor enjoying the waves.
A student and a mentor enjoying the waves.

Scarborough Borough Council will lease the ‘bullring’ site situated in the Aquarium Top, which is directly under the Spa bridge, to The Wave Project in spring next year.

The Wave Project will offer adaptive surf sessions for young people aged eight - 18 with disabilities and impairments, and it will also provide a base for Surf Club sessions for young people who have completed the charity's courses.

Matt Jones, Coordinator – North Yorkshire, The Wave Project, said: “We’re delighted to launch a brand new site in Scarborough to allow many more young people living with barriers - whether impairment or disability, or mental health challenges - to benefit from our life-changing surf therapy that has already improved the health of thousands of young people across the country. Our vision is to make surfing as accessible and inclusive as possible.”

Plans include The Wave Project creating two bespoke regenerated units in the Scarborough Aquarium Top.

The site has been optimised to ensure full accessibility for young people living with a physical disability, offering level slipway access from the site to the water’s edge, as well as disabled parking nearby.

The Aquarium Top has recently been redecorated as part of Scarborough Borough Council’s ‘Project Sunshine’. The project aims to make the town look fresh, tidy and welcoming.

The new site also draws on Scarborough’s rich heritage of water-based therapy. At the beginning of the 17th century the mineral waters were believed to have ‘medicinal’ properties, establishing Scarborough as one of Britain’s first seaside resorts, and leading to the creation of a spa house where people would come and bathe in – and even drink - the water. Drinking the water was outlawed in the 1960s, due to health and safety regulations.

Cllr Jim Grieve, Scarborough Borough Council Cabinet Member for Quality of Life, said: “I am delighted to support the Wave Project and to welcome it to Scarborough. The Yorkshire coast is already a magnet for surf fans and we know the waters here remain attractive but for different reasons than the original Victorian visitors.”

“The Wave Project does fantastic work and I know it will benefit children and young people in our borough.”

If you are a local tradesperson or represent a builders’ merchant/local business and would like to assist The Wave Project in fitting out the unit interior, or if you are interested in contributing materials, please email [email protected] for more information.