A £200 million surf lake, adventure area, shopping village and mini Eden Project are planned for Devon.

The site will stretch for approximately 71 hectares and will be situated at Tiverton off the M5. The mini Eden Project, known as Eden Westwood, involves a partnership between the investors Friends Life, part of the Aviva Group, and the Eden Project.

The new attraction site will comprise of 1,000 square metres of retail space, an agronomy visitor centre, an outdoor adventure zone with a beach, lagoon, surf lake and high ropes adventure area, as well as an outlet shopping village.

It has been revealed that the Mid Devon District Council has received advice notes from the examination of the plans for the new site.

In response to the notes, Stephen Walford, chief executive at Mid Devon District Council, said:

“We welcome the thoughts of the inspector and the receipt of his advice note, together with the invitation to submit further housing information to him.

“This is another important step forward towards the adoption of a new Local Plan for Mid Devon.”



CAVA Designwerks, specialists in developing media-based attractions to the themed entertainment industry, is establishing a strong presence in the Middle East.

CAVU has offices in the US, Canada and China. By expanding to Beirut, Abu Dhabi and Riyadh, the attractions provider will be able to work closely with clients in the MENA region.

Following a change in policy, movie theatres can now operate in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi government is also giving the entertainment industry a boost with the building of theme parks and FECs. Reports show that international tourism in Saudi Arabia is forecast to increase by 5.8% a year from 2018 to 2022.

CAVU aims to meet the needs of the expanding market by providing quality media-based attractions. As Peter Schnabel, CAVU Designwerks’ CEO said:

“As the investment into the amusement park industry grows across the Middle East, we at CAVU want to ensure that we offer a local presence during this exciting time of growth.”

Mark Stepanian, vice president of innovation and engineering at CAVU spoke of the attractions industry’s expansion in the Middle East.

“There is no doubt the amusement industry in the Middle East is growing, with more families looking for quality entertainment without needing to travel.

“By having a location that’s close to the expanding Saudi Arabia market, we are able to provide close support and align ourselves with our clients and their needs,” said Stepanian.



Frontgrid, specialists in virtual reality attractions, has announced its immersive experience known as ParadropVR has been a hit around the world, and is on the cusp of breaking one million rides across all its international locations in 2019.

In March this year, ParadropVR opened at the VR Park in Dubai, significantly boosting ride utilisation and revenue figures for the attraction.

Visitor numbers for ParadropVR increased by more than 70% from the first quarter of 2019 at Merlin Entertainment’s The Bear Grylls Adventure. The attraction is also being embraced by guests at iFly venues and the Universe Science Park.

The experts in virtual reality attractions are planning further installations of the ParadropVR in the UK, India, Saudi Arabia and Malaysia. Frontgrid also plans to launch the world’s first ParadropVR City Flyer at the King Power Mahanakhon in Bangkok.

In a press statement, Frontgrid said:

“We’re incredibly pleased by these latest results. Since launching our first installation at Universe Science Park in spring 2017, ParadropVR has consistently exceeded expectations in terms of performance, reliability and crucially – the ability to generate revenue and footfall for operators.

“With a strong performance from our existing sites and several exciting new installations launching this year, we are firmly on-track to cement our position as a global leader in the design and implementation of immersive, adventure-based attractions for the location-based entertainment industry.”



Accesso Technology Group, a leading provider of premier technology solutions for the attractions, leisure and hospitality industries, as appointed John Guilfoy to the newly created role of chief operating officer.

Guilfoy will continue to drive growth and innovation in Accesso’s constantly expanding portfolio of solutions and clients. As chief operating officer, Guilfoy will be responsible for leading the day-to-day operations of the company.

John Guilfoy has been working in the travel, technology and financial services sector for more than 23 years. He has held a number of senior executive roles at TravelClick, an eCommerce Software-as-a-Solution (SaaS) provider to hotels, where he worked for eight years.

Guilfoy has an MBA from Columbia Business School and the London Business School with a concentration in Management and Finance. Accesso’s new chief operating officer also holds a BA in Economics from Columbia University in New York City, New York.

Accesso’s CEO, Paul Noland spoke of the new appointment.

“We believe that John’s experience in operations and his strength in managing a wide range of teams make him the right choice to help us drive both business and customer success.

“I look forward to working closely with him as we continue to execute future plans,” Noland added.

John Guilfoy spoke of his enthusiasm for joining the Accesso team, commenting:

“I’m thrilled to join the Accesso team and be able to utilise my experience from the travel and technology sectors to help them continue to grow globally.”

“Accesso has an incredible reputation in the industry and the opportunity to continue the upward momentum of cutting-edge innovation is very exciting.”



The Eden Project, the UK charity which redeveloped a clay quarry in Cornwall into a popular ecotourism project, has announced plans to turn a former coalmine in Anglesea, Victoria, Australia, into an AU$150 million (£81.5 million) ecotourism attraction.

Partnering with Alcoa, which operates bauxite mining, alumina refining and aluminium smelting activities in Australia, the Eden Project has begun a community consultation for feedback on the plans to develop an ambitious ecotourism attraction within Alcoa’s former coalmine.

The plans are in-line with the region’s commitment to developing environmental and cultural sites, which include the Great Otway National Park and the Great Ocean Road.

Speaking about the project, David Harland, chief executive of Eden Project International, said the concept:

“Could bring environmental, social and economic regeneration to Anglesea and the wider region, while re-imagining what’s possible within Australian mine rehabilitation sites”.

“We’ve envisioned a place of extraordinary experiences, fusing science and wonder to immerse visitors in the extreme elements – fire, air, earth and water – which have shaped the surf coast region and its inhabitants for millennia, creating a must-see prelude for a journey on the Great Ocean Road.

“This concept will be a global exemplar of sustainability and environmental excellence,” Harland added.

John Osborne, director of asset planning and management at Alcoa, commented that the proposal was:

“An opportunity to showcase the site’s unique natural values while making a significant and lasting contribution to the region for generations to come.

“We look forward to receiving input from the Anglesea community and key stakeholders on this concept for the freehold mine site,” said Osborne.

The plans are in their early consultation stages. It is believed if the plans were approved, the project would take around 18 – 24 months to construct.



Construction has begun for a new Gulliver’s Valley attraction near Rotherham in Yorkshire. The £37million project is being built in five phases over a period of 15 years.

The first phase of the Gulliver’s Valley development is due to open in 2020. The regenerating of the Pit House West site next to Rother Valley Country Park, will be a huge theme park designed for families.

The site will include an indoor water play zone, themed areas throughout the park, free-range self-catering woodland lodges and treehouses, a family hotel, a woodland adventure centre, an indoor climbing centre, outdoor gyms, and Gully’s dream village, amongst other unique features the ambitious new theme park will comprise of.

Yorkshire’s budding attractions’ industry is being hailed as contributing to the county’s blossoming staycation scene.

As the Yorkshire Post notes:

“Yorkshire is a popular destination for visitors seeking a thrill with Flamingo Land, Lightwater Valley and Alpamare Water Park all located in the region.

Alongside the new Gulliver’s Valley project, plans are also in motion to build Future Park, a new £250million food and leisure attraction near Knaresborough in North Yorkshire.

Plans are also due to be submitted by the Yorkshire property developer Fallons, to construct a new eco site, dubbed as to become one of Britain’s “most significant cultural and energy-efficient attractions to be built in the 21st century.”