Major Developments for Bristol’s Surf Lake
The team behind plans to create a unique in-land surfing experience in Bristol has today announced the first in a series of major developments – most significantly securing all the investment needed to take the project through the planning process and up to the point of construction.
The company has used the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) – a government scheme aimed at helping start-ups raise finance more easily – as the vehicle to secure the majority of this investment. To date the project has secured its ‘Phase 1’ target investment of £0.25million, via a mix of private investment and in-kind contributions.
Co-founder, Tobin Coles comments: “Phase 1 investment is absolutely crucial to the success of any venture and the fact we have secured it in this tricky economic time demonstrates the confidence that there is in this project. In addition securing expert professional advice from companies such as Burges Salmon and Deloitte has been invaluable, making the team and our offer even stronger.
“We are in advanced discussion with a number of potential investors for sums in the region of £4.75million for ‘Phase 2’, on condition of a planning application being approved. The scope of what we are planning to create has evolved over the last months and the investment opportunity it provides is even more appealing.”
The evolution of the project is also the reason that the team has made the decision to move away from its original preferred site. As plans have developed it is clear that the project has outgrown this site and much larger sites are now being considered to allow it to reach its full potential.
Co-founder, Nick Hounsfield, explains: “We went to Spain this summer to see the latest version of the Wavegarden technology, which is spectacular, and it became evident that we needed more space than originally anticipated to accommodate the very best surfing experience, and still do justice to the other key elements such as healing gardens, activity gardens, herb gardens and education spaces. As much as we loved many aspects of the initial preferred site we realised it would constrain the project and therefore we have decided to look at two other options.”
The team has identified two potential sites and is in discussion with landowners and planners to decide which best meets the project criteria. It is expected that an announcement will be made on the new site in the coming weeks.
Another major development has been a change of name from Wavegarden UK to The Wave: Bristol. Over the last months it has become clear that this project will be significantly different to other potential ‘Wavegardens’ being planned across the globe. This is particularly due to the fact that the project is highly motivated by issues such as sustainability and social inclusivity.
Tobin explains: “As our project has progressed we have realised it is going to be something very special and we want it to stand apart from other developments around the world that may also be built using Wavegarden technology, but which may not share the same ethos as our project.”
Nick concludes: “Significant progress has been made over the last months, with particular focus on building the infrastructure of the business and ensuring the investment structures are in place to take us through planning.
“We are so fired up having seen the success of the first full-size Wavegarden facility, located in northern Spain, and can honestly say that the project is now going to be even bigger and better than previously thought. We have been inspired by the thousands of messages of support, pledges of help and offers of investment from people, schools and businesses all over Bristol and beyond. We will continue to strive to ensure that this project is for all people, of all ages from all backgrounds.’
To learn more about the project and the people involved in bringing world class waves to Bristol you can visit The Wave UK website.