Manchester may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think about surfing - but all that could be about to change after ambitious plans for a new facility were given the green light.
Trafford Council planners have approved Modern Surf Manchester, an inland surf park which will be the first facility of its kind in the North West.
If everything goes to plan, the lagoon will take shape at TraffordCity, the huge retail and leisure development which is based around The Trafford Centre.
What is Modern Surf Manchester?
Modern Surf Manchester is an inland surfing lagoon which is being planned by the McKinney Group.
The plan would see a former container base site at TraffordCity transformed into a surfing cove which could be used by board-riders of all abilities.
The proposed complex would be powered by wave generators and would create consistent surf which could be used by everyone from beginners and learners to surf experts.
Alongside the surf lake will be space for a café and restaurant terrace, pop-up beach bars, a surf shop, and changing facilities.
There are also plans for other leisure and fitness facilities including a pump track, a halfpipe and boarding area and zones for exercise, bouldering and balance work.
The idea is for the whole development to go on a brownfield site off Barton Dock Road in Trafford Park.
The scheme has been given a price tag of around £60m.
It is the latest ambitious plan to be unveiled for the area following news of Therme Manchester - a huge £150m spa resort featuring pools, saunas and swim-up bars.
What has been said about planning being approved?
Trafford Council’s decision to approve the plans has been hailed as an exciting step forward for the project.
Managing director Billy McKinney said: “We’re delighted that Trafford Council has approved our proposals for Modern Surf and are very grateful to local residents for the extraordinary level of support we have received.
“Modern Surf will complement the already excellent leisure based activities in TraffordCity and help to inspire the next generation of surfers and athletes.
“We hope to create 100 full-time equivalent jobs when operational as well as supporting many more during the construction phase.
“Look out for more updates over the coming months!”
James Whittaker, executive development director at Peel L&P which owns TraffordCity, said: “We are thrilled to hear that planning permission has been granted for Modern Surf which will bring something unique to the already strong leisure offering.
“Our vision is to be the UK’s number one destination for the retail, leisure and business in a sustainable environment where over the last 25 years we have created over 17,500 jobs and invested over £1.6 billion.
“Alongside Therme Manchester, Modern Surf will be another fantastic leisure attraction to TraffordCity that will complement all the surrounding businesses.”
Sounds great - when can I have a go?
The surf park is earmarked to be opened some time in 2023.