Merlin Entertainments investing £30m in Midlands attractions

Merlin Entertainments is investing nearly £30m ($42m) in the Midlands region of the UK, revamping existing attractions and developing two new ones.

The majority of the investment is being put into two new attractions that are set to open in Birmingham this year – The Bear Grylls Adventure and a Legoland Discovery Centre.

The Bear Grylls Adventure is being developed at a cost of around £20m ($28m) and will be a permanent attraction at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC). The 8,000sqm facility will include the tallest high rope challenge in Europe as well as diving, rock climbing, indoor skydiving and escape room challenges. It is set to open in the autumn.

Merlin Entertainments is also investing £7m ($9.8m) in the Legoland Discover Centre to open at Arena Birmingham in the summer. It will be a 3,300sqm indoor facility featuring interactive Lego-themed attractions and games, a cafe, a range of exciting indoor rides, a shop and a 4D cinema. It will be the second Legoland Discovery Centre in the UK after the Manchester location.

Existing attractions in the area are not being ignored. The National Sea Life Centre at Brindleyplace, Birmingham will benefit from brand new displays including jellyfish and an Amazon rainforest experience.

Meanwhile, Warwick Castle is also receiving more than £1m ($1.4m) for new attractions and restorations. Dragon Slayer will be an exciting, immersive live show based on the forgotten legend of ‘Guy of Warwick’ and his chivalrous adventures to seek the approval of Princess Felice. It will feature epic battles, a spectacular light show, pyrotechnics and the opportunity to feast like a king or queen.

Mark Fisher, chief development officer for Merlin Entertainments, said: “Birmingham is a great hub for location-based entertainment and we are looking forward to opening our two exciting new attractions there, which will complement our existing Sea Life attraction, and attract thousands of domestic and international visitors to the city.

“The broader Midlands region is an important market for Merlin, which also includes Alton Towers and Warwick Castle. Together these attractions form an inviting regional leisure hub that we are delighted to be investing in.”