The Wave and Wavegarden sign UK & Ireland deal
The Wave announced an exclusive partnership agreement with Wavegarden to deliver six (possibly more) developments across the UK and Ireland. The surf park first opened in Bristol in 2019 and is currently working on a second site in London while also exploring the other potential sites.
The six sites represent an investment of more than £200million ($275million US). The Wave says that once open, the new wave pools will welcome a combined total of more than 2 million visitors per year. The multi-million-pound deal puts The Wave at the forefront of the nascent surf park sector in the UK and Ireland.
“We will have five sites open, in planning or being built in the next five years, and we are in the process of actively searching for land,” said Craig Stoddart, CEO of The Wave. “Predictions indicate there will be approximately 100 surf parks operating globally in the next 10 years. The Wave intends to be a leading international player in this market and we have been preparing ourselves for this ambition for a number of years.”
A spokesperson for The Wave said the £200million exclusive partnership deal with Wavegarden doesn’t cover all of the UK but secures the vast majority of the South of England, the Peak District and the island of Ireland. So renderings seen on WavePoolMag for other Wavegarden Cove projects are presumably clear to proceed without infringing on licensing rights.
The Wave in Bristol was the first inland surfing lake in the world to open using Wavegarden Cove technology (just before Urbnsurf in Melbourne officially opened). Despite the pandemic, more sites using Wavegarden’s Cove tech opened in 2020 and 2021. The Wave said they are also working with Wavegarden to secure additional sites in major European cities and that they have a number of sites in negotiation with local developers across Europe.
“This multi-project agreement further cements our brilliant and exclusive partnership with Wavegarden, and the deal adds significant value to The Wave Group and our shareholders,” added Stoddart. “We have a great professional team of Wavemakers and we have now welcomed over 300,000 visitors through our doors since we opened – despite contending with a global pandemic.”
The leisure and hospitality industries are reeling from the effects of the pandemic with many businesses struggling to survive. However, outdoor leisure continued to experience growth in 2021 with wave pools matching the surge in health and wellbeing pursuits.
Wavegarden said the experience and knowledge gained in Bristol has been invaluable and with the knowledge gained, the company can move forward on a number of sites simultaneously.
“We are delighted to have signed this strategic partnership with The Wave so we can continue to work with the team on many projects in the coming years,” said Fernando Odriozola, Chief Commercial Officer at Wavegarden.
The company is currently counting 60 Cove projects in development around the world and has working wave pools in Brazil, England, Australia, Switzerland and South Korea.
Nick Hounsfield, Founder and CVO of the Wave worked for a decade to bring The Wave to life. He said that at the heart of everything they do at the Wave, the main focus is physical and mental health.
“Sharing these benefits is right at the heart of what we do,” said Hounsfield. “Our purpose is central to everything. We want to share the positive power of waves – and the pure joy of surfing – with people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities.”