New £2.5m chutes at water attraction

Progress work on new slides at Sandcastle Water Park Blackpool

Progress work on new slides at Sandcastle Water Park Blackpool

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BLACKPOOL’S latest high adrenaline rides will open next month.

The Sandcastle Waterpark will hold a VIP launch of its £2.5m new slides on Friday February 3, and open them to the public the following day.

The two Aztec-themed attractions will put the park at the forefront of the industry.

Sandcastle managing director John Child said: “What we are doing is something unique and it will push the water park industry further forward, as well as providing Blackpool with another new brilliant attraction for 2012.

“What we have done is to theme the walk up to the ride, as well as the ride itself, with exciting sound and light effects.

“So going up to the start of the ride will be an event in itself.”

Thrill-seekers will plunge head first down 360 degree loops and turns down the Montazooma, while Aztec Falls is a darkened chute which takes swimmers through a chasm before they emerge into the pool via a corkscrew exit.

Claire Smith, president of hoteliers group StayBlackpool, said it was great the rides would be open in time for the February half term.

She said: “The Sandcastle has gone from strength to strength and is a quality experience which is always ahead of the game.

“It is brilliant the new rides will be open for the half term holiday and it is something else new for this year’s season.

“The water park is an important part of Blackpool’s offer because it is undercover, and it is an all day thing for families and it is good to see continued investment in it.”

Work began last Easter to build the rides which are being funded through a council loan and the park’s own finances.

The last major investment at the Sandcastle was a £3.5m refurbishment of the attraction which saw the addition of the Master Blaster chute in 2006, which was the longest water ride in Europe at the time.

When the council agreed the £2.5m loan to fund the new rides in 2010, the move was attacked by Coun Simon Blackburn, who was then leader of the opposition.

He accused town hall chiefs of getting their priorities wrong at a time when 200 council jobs were being lost, but the Conservatives said it would bring more tourists in.