£80m Safari Park plans 'a major boost'
A planned £80 million transformation of West Midland Safari Park has been hailed as a 'major boost to the area'.
A water park with indoor beaches and slides and a hotel and conference centre will be created at the site in Bewdley as part of the scheme.
It will be the biggest transformation of the site in decades and is expected to draw in tens of thousands of visitors and create 500 jobs.
Residents were given their first glimpse of the new plans at two events held at St George's Hall, in Bewdley, and the safari park where they could have their say about the proposals.
And bosses from the park's planning advisors RPS said around 120 people had come to see the plans.
They said response had been 'overwhelmingly positive' with residents believing the new-look park would be a major boost to the area.
Senior director at RPS Nick Laister said: "We were very pleased with the turn-out at both events. We had around 120 people come to see the plans in all.
"Feedback to the scheme was very good.
"Residents believed the improvements to the park would be good for the area bringing in more visitors and jobs.
"The findings will now be added to the planning documents we are putting together for submission to the district council."
A full planning application will be submitted to Wyre Forest District Council for the water park in August with outline plans for the hotel and conference centre forwarded at the same time.
Bosses say the improvements, which would be built over 10 years, would transform the already popular attraction into a resort rivalling venues such as Alton Towers.
Under the scheme, the water park would have a jungle-themed environment featuring pools, rides and slides set around specially created coves and beaches.
The 250-bedroom safari-style hotel will have a pool, gym and terrace.
The conference area, called the Confex Centre, will have banqueting and exhibition facilities for 1,000 people.
The park is already one of the leading tourist attractions in the heart of England attracting 750,000 visitors every year and employing 400 people.