Longleat have made a planning application for a £45 million hotel resort including a waterpark, hotel and conference facilities as well as an “animal immersive experience”.
The 7,000 sq ft water park will add an all weather attraction for estate, with the 240 bed hotel allowing visitors to extend their stay.
Longleat recently created a 10 year masterplan to develop the potential of the estate. Currently the historic house and 50 year old safari park welcome 1 million visitors a year, of which 40 per cent drive more than two hours to reach Longleat. The average visit is seven hours.
Initiatives like the winter Festival of Light have attracted visitors in November and December (20 per cent of visits in the year), and the proportion of July and August visits have decreased from 49 per cent in 2004 to 29 per cent in 2015.
The application states that, “a hotel, water park and business conference facility of the scale proposed does not exist in the County, but with the Longleat brand and reputation, and operation in conjunction with the existing Longleat attraction, the hotel resort will quickly gain profile to become a major Tourism ‘hub’ and regional economic asset. The proposal’s positioning as a tourist ‘hub’ and business destination with day ticket facilities, such as its new water park (which will available to the local community), the hotel will undoubtedly have an ability to extend ‘staying visits’ by being able to effectively market the ‘off-peak’.”
The ambition for Longleat’s planning application is to help develop a year round attraction which can support a two day stay, increasing visitor numbers to 1.2 million by 2023.
Images: Planning application submitted to Wiltshire Council. Festival of Light – LCI