£2m Surf Rider planned for Cardiff Bay
Cardiff could soon become a surfing paradise after plans for a £2m indoor surf centre were given the go-ahead. The Surf Rider – which creates a standing wave by pumping thousands of gallons of water down an artificial slope – is expected to bring an extra 18,000 visitors to Cardiff Bay’s International Sports Village every year.
The two-storey centre will be built alongside the International White Water Centre and will include a viewing terrace with a covered walkway between the two buildings. It will feature a 1.5m high wave that can be ridden by up to eight people at once. Councillors last night unanimously approved the scheme at a planning committee meeting at City Hall, paving the way for it to be opened in time for spring 2013. Operators will now be invited to build the attraction, which is being paid for out of the Cardiff Harbour Authority’s budget, which is funded by the council and Welsh Government.
Councillor Nigel Howells, the council’s executive member for sport, culture and leisure, said: “The new Surf Rider will provide a state-of-the-art indoor surf facility at Cardiff International White Water. “We estimate the new facility will attract an additional 18,000 users to Cardiff International White Water, which will of course lead to a boost for other businesses in the city. “The Surf Rider will be an all-weather, high-quality sporting and leisure facility at the International Sports Village and we hope to see it opened by spring 2013.” In its first 12 months, the International White Water Centre – built at a cost of £13.3m by the council, with the help of an £8.7m Welsh Government grant – had nearly 80,000 visitors.
Figures obtained by the Echo earlier showed it recorded a £75,000 profit last year. Europe’s first indoor standing wave – known as the Boardrider – opened at Swansea’s Leisure Centre in 2005. There, sessions cost £3.50 for 30 minutes, with a maximum of six people at a time.