May 30, 2024

Thrilling new water park to create jobs and make waves in seaside town after planning green light

A THRILLING new aqua park will create jobs, attract visitors, and boost the economy in a seaside town.

Sblash has been given the green light by Conwy’s planning authority and is already making waves in Penmaenmawr.

Owners James and Debbie McAllister – who have decades of experience in the tourism and hospitality industry – are transforming Graiglwyd Springs Fishery into an inflatable water attraction that will employ up to seven additional staff from May to October each year.

Proposals for the seven-acre site also included parking, changing facilities, hot and cold drinks, snacks, and ice cream.

Each customer will be kitted out with a wet suit, buoyancy aid and a warm welcome on arrival at the reception area, which will complement existing amenities and seven holiday cottages.

With customer safety at the heart of the operation, Sblash is committed to ensuring it meets all health and safety requirements set out by the Aqua Park Association (UK and Ireland).

The water safety team will be qualified to Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS) standards and sessions have been limited to 25 users at any time.

“The fishery continues to be successful, but we wanted to make this site a more sustainable year-round enterprise, which is why we have diversified,” said James.

“Sblash will be perfect for families, school groups, parties, team building, and anyone wanting to get active and have fun! We already attract people from all over the UK and this will give us another USP to create a buzz in the area.”

He added: “Importantly for us, we want to contribute to the local economy for 12 months of the year, creating jobs and capitalising on our surroundings in a sustainable, responsible manner.

“The aqua park allows us to do that, and by training our lifeguards with RLSS qualifications and keeping the capacity low to ensure a high-quality and safe experience for visitors, we have the peace of mind everyone will leave here having had a brilliant time.

“We are thankful to Business Wales for its support and to the amazing community here in Penmaenmawr; we look forward to opening very soon.”

The wild water adventure will include the towering 3.8m Mount Rainier, exhilarating slides and a range of obstacles, floating trampolines, a freefall experience and the unforgettable Waverider.

Sblash will open to the public on May 18 and is already creating ripples of excitement along the coast. Discounts, family offers, and further activities will be introduced in the months ahead.

Debbie says residents and business owners have been “hugely supportive” and the knock-on effect will be very positive for the town.

“We will be helping to be promote Penmaenmawr as a tourist destination, with its beautiful beaches, cafes and other activities in addition to what we are doing with Sblash,” she said.

“The community is fully behind us, and we will look to use local suppliers and products as always, supporting each other and doing all we can to bring more people to what is one of the region’s hidden gems.

“James and I have been in the sector for many years, and this is one of the most impressive developments we’ve created during that time.

“We look forward to bringing something fresh and new to North Wales, an attraction that will capitalise on the incredible landscape and nature with a focus on health and wellbeing, exercise and enjoyment – we look forward to welcoming people soon.”

North Wales Tourism CEO Jim Jones congratulated the couple on their “innovative approach” to boosting tourism in the region and added: “Utilising the resources available to them to diversify and create a quality fun water park at Graiglwyd should be commended. I’m aware of the tremendous amount of hard work to get to this stage.

“I have every confidence that this new venture will not only succeed but also become a popular tourist attraction for both locals and visitors alike.”

The existing fly-fishing business will be open from October for the remaining months of the year as it is seasonal, and future proposals for the park include glamping pods and cold-water therapy retreats.

For more information, to book a session or to apply for a role at Sblash, visit the website www.sblash.co.uk and follow them on social media.