Adventure golf pirate plans unveiled


- Credit: © Royalty-Free/CORBIS

A PIRATE-THEMED adventure golf course, featuring a 19m-high ship, is planned for Weston’s seafront, in what could be the first of several new attractions for the town.

The £450,000 course could be open by the end of the year, while a temporary observation wheel will soon be in place to give the resort an extra attraction this summer.

Earlier this month the Mercury exclusively revealed that Event Attractions (EA) was the preferred bidder among six applicants to develop the northern portion of the Beach Lawns.

It has been responsible for several Weston projects in the past 12 months, including the log flume and Winter Wonderland.

James Rogers, EA’s managing director, said he was delighted to have had his bid for an 18-hole course, complete with a cafeteria and seating area, accepted.

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Mr Rogers believes the site could have been ready for this summer, but opted not to risk jeopardising the resort’s appeal if the planning process was delayed and the Beach Lawns became a building site during the peak season.

Instead, Weston will have another wheel on the seafront in 2013, but with open-sided pods. Construction work is set to begin in the coming weeks ahead of it opening on March 15.

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Welsh-based contractors Western Log Group will then begin work on building the adventure golf site once the holiday season finishes, opening the attraction in late 2013 or early next year.

It will be situated on the Beach Lawns between the junctions of Oxford Street and Carlton Street, yards away from the new Dolphin Square development. Tickets are expected to cost £4-6.

The pirate theme will be used extensively throughout the complex with it shaping everything from the café’s menu to the design of the holes.

And the centrepiece will be a pirate galleon, with flags and masts stretching up to 19m high.

Mr Rogers stressed these were part of the initial plans shown to North Somerset Council as part of the bidding process and is subject to change. Formal planning permission is still to be granted.

He said: “The point of the planning process is to make sure all the neighbours are happy.

“We sympathise with planners and local residents about the temporary structures, but we plan to have them dotted about the site.”

Mr Rogers told the Mercury this week he hopes the 18-hole adventure golf course will be the first of several permanent attractions EA builds in Weston.

He said he would be interested in developing around Marine Lake and Princess Royal Square, if North Somerset Council will allow more tourist attractions to be built around those areas.

He also wants to find a permanent home for an observation wheel on the seafront, providing an agreement can be brokered with the council and any residents potentially affected by it.

Mr Rogers added: “We have been dealing with North Somerset Council for many, many years and for the last 10 we have been trying to bring in tourist attractions for the long-term.

“We know the potential is there, since the huge investment in the resort over the past few years.

“Previously we have specialised in some temporary events but this 25-year lease will really give us the stability to keep investing in other projects.”

The council will receive an annual rate of £100,000 for the site, subject to inflation rises.

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