North West Square | GATHERING


Therme’s £ 250million wellness center is one of the region’s most exciting projects. Credit: via town planning documents

Dan Whelan

From flying theaters to wave parks, here are some of the Northwest’s most anticipated experiential projects in the not-so-distant future.

After spending much of the past 18 months indoors, consumers are overjoyed to go out and feel something again. After so long locked up, the humble cinema might not cut it anymore. But fear not, there is a lot to do to get you excited.

Pleasure of flying

Aerial attractions are growing in popularity. In Blackpool, a flying theater is the centerpiece of Nikal’s £ 300million development at Blackpool Central. In addition to the 127,000-square-foot theater, the development also includes two small indoor theme parks, a 200-room hotel, a heritage district, and several bars and restaurants.

map pinBlackpool Center can be viewed on Northwest Square development board.

In Bootle, Sefton Council hopes to deliver a flying theater as part of the regeneration of the Strand shopping center. A £ 20million offer for the Leveling Up Fund has been made in hopes of moving the project forward.

Learn more about Sefton’s plans for Bootle

Blackpool Center

Blackpool Central is presented by Nikal. Credit: via Font Comms

Zip World, the company behind an unsuccessful attempt to install a 400-meter zipline in Liverpool city center, has obtained approval for a ‘SkyFlyer’ attraction on the site of the former Sun Center to Rhyl.

The attraction would see runners taken 400 feet into the air aboard a gondola under a Skyflyer-branded airship.

The program is implemented in collaboration with Denbighshire Leisure, an offshoot of the local council.

Learn more about the SkyFlier attraction

Container parks

Shipping containers are all the rage these days. They are versatile, mobile, and a cheaper option to traditional construction.

Hatch in Manchester, owned by Bruntwood, is full of containers hosting bars, independent traders and retail shops and has become a popular destination in the city.

The McGoff Group is hoping to replicate the success of Hatch in Urmston where it plans to set up Market 41, a £ 3.5million development with a dining room and 30 contactless hotel rooms.

Find out more about Marché 41

41 McGoff Market 2

Market 41 offers 30 contactless hotel rooms. Credit: via town planning documents

In May, similar proposals were approved by Preston City Council. Austringer Capita will create a 37,000 square foot container yard as part of a larger mixed-use project in Fulwood.

The park offers catering, retail, coworking space and leisure facilities.

North West Square has also heard rumors that a container yard is being drawn for Liverpool’s Albert Dock.

Learn more about the Fulwood container yard.


Two of the region’s most anticipated leisure developments are coming to Trafford.

Therme will create a 700,000 square foot wellness complex on 28 hectares currently occupied by Event City.

Thermes Trafford Park 1

Therme is to be built in Event City. Credit: via town planning documents

The resort will contain a two-acre wellness garden and a large family area with a wave pool, waterslides, indoor and outdoor pools, and steam rooms, all of which are expected to attract up to two million visitors per year when visiting. its opening in 2023.

Learn more about Therme’s plans.

Nearby, Irish developer McKinney Group recently got approval to create Modern Wave, a £ 60million surf park near the Trafford Center.

The program is billed as the Northwest’s first man-made surf resort and includes a lagoon powered by Wavegarden, a company specializing in wave generation technologies.

Learn more about Surf Moderne.

A similar project is under development in Southport. A A 250-meter beach and surf station with hotel, dining and spa accommodation are to be developed in the coastal town on Merseyside, as part of an agreement between Sefton Council and UK leisure provider Go Surf.

The £ 40million scheme would include ‘water-based’ wellness and spa facilities, four-star hotel accommodation, casual dining and indoor leisure facilities. There would also be gardens and a 360-degree boardwalk for visitors to explore the attraction and watch the surfers.

Learn more about Go Surf plans.

Modern Surf Manchester, PBECG

Leslie Jones Architecture is the lead architect for the McKinney project. Credit: via BECG

Manchester: the homeland of competitive socialization?

Recently, Manchester has seen a drastic increase in its offer of what is known as ‘competitive socialization’. Roxy Ballroom opened in the former Birdcage nightclub unit last year, while Electric Gamebox is up and running in the Arndale.

Urban Playground, which gives punters the chance to test themselves on ITV’s game show The Cube, is due to open at Arndale this month in former units Burton and Dorothy Perkins.

In Printworks, Boom Battle Bar has a similar offering to Roxy Ballroom and is located just across the road.

Manchester Arndale, P.PNW

Manchester is fast becoming the place to be for competitive socialization. Credit: Place Nord Ouest

Outside the city center, competitive socialization is also taking off.

At Trafford Center, Nerf, an indoor laser battle site is offered while in Skelmersdale, part of the Concourse shopping center is to be converted to WonderWorld, which could feature jungle-themed adventure golf, bowling, and a virtual space on the theme of reality room.

The game changers

Fewer projects have the capacity to transform the fortunes of a city like Eden Project North.

The £ 125million development could act as a catalyst for Morecambe regeneration.

It promises an immersive tour experience aimed at educating people about the marine environment.

Eden Project North is expected to attract around one million visitors per year and directly employ over 400 people. The business case estimates that a visitor spends over £ 200million per year in the area.

17162 EdenNorth Antenna

Eden Project North is planned for the promenade area, near the famous Midland hotel. Credit: via WSP

Plans for the attraction were filed in September, but the search for funding continues.

Take a look at the plans for Eden Project North.

Oak View Group’s £ 350million Co-Op Live Arena in East Manchester will revive an area that already has Manchester City’s Etihad stadium and campus among its assets.

The arena could lead to an additional 2.5 million visits to the region by 2025, according to OVG.

It could also have a lasting impact on the city center. With a brand new out of town venue slated for completion in 2023, what future for the aging downtown AO Arena?

Learn more about Co-op Live.

Co-Op Live Arena

The arena is expected to be completed in 2023. Credit: Populous via planning documents

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