Kent rekindles Betteshanger surf park stoke with new team and vision
This week a new wave park called The Seahive hit the British news cycle. The surf park is looking at a location in Betteshanger County Park near Deal in Kent.
If all goes well, the £40million project (another report quoted the price tag at £50million ) will stand on a 15-acre site in a popular park which attracts 200,000 visitors per year. Surrounding the lagoon will be a surf academy housed in the pool’s clubhouse along with restaurant, bar and conference space. The project has been designed by Hollaway Studio.
Reports say the “hive” aspect comes from several interconnected “hives of activity” spaces including ones for yoga, cold water therapy, meditation rooms and splash pool. There will also be a pump track and sustainable glamping cabins.
Developers say the surf park will encourage communities to connect, increase tourism, support local businesses and generate hundreds of jobs while still being “ecologically mindful, inclusive and authentic.”
“My vision has always been far greater than just creating an inland surf lagoon,” said founder Jim Storey. “The Seahive is a purpose-driven, inclusive business anchored around the power of blue health and its impact on both physical and mental wellbeing.”
According to the Seahive website, Storey quit his corporate career in 2012 to be present with his family and ‘live life’. He is “passionate about the positive impact that surfing, the outdoors, pushing personal boundaries and shared experiences can have on physical and mental wellbeing.”
Kent County borders greater London, making this pool quick to access for London-based wave-starved surfers. Deal, England is where the waters of the English Channel and the North Sea meet and is only 25 miles from France.
Betteshanger Park offers mountain bike trails, running tracks, a Forest School and hosts several festivals throughout the year. There’s also a new mining museum documenting the Betteshanger Colliery which was established in 1912 and closed in 1989.
Seahive is on the exact location of a project touted two years back called Quinn Estates spearheaded by Mark Quinn. Those plans included a 5-star hotel, with 56 rooms and an outdoor swimming pool. Mr Quinn said it would bring a slice of “luxury and quality” to the area.
No word on what happened to Mark Quinn’s plans or if any of the Seahive team, Brian Mather, Simon Hagger, Adam Lamond and Jim Story had worked on the previous project. Quinn Estates, like Seahive planned on using Wavegarden Cove technology to pump out waves.