McKinney Group Modern Surf Trafford Up Close CGI
The Modern Surf facility would house a lake, restaurant and fitness activity zones, under the plans

McKinney ramps up £60m Trafford surf lagoon

Sarah Townsend

The Irish developer has lodged its application to build one of the North West’s first man-made surfing complexes and targets a 2023 opening subject to consent.

The £60m facility called Modern Surf would be constructed at a brownfield site off Barton Dock Road in TraffordCity that is owned and managed by Peel L&P and is currently used to store containers.

Under McKinney Group’s plans, it would be transformed into a “world-class” surfing facility with a surf lake powered by Wavegarden, which manufactures wave-generating technologies, alongside a café and restaurant, pop-up beach, surf shop and changing facilities.

There would also be a fitness zone including a halfpipe skateboarding area, bouldering facility, and other activity spaces at the site.

The project is being billed as the North West’s first inland man-made surf complex – elsewhere in the region, a leisure provider called GoSurf is working with Sefton Council to progress £40m plans for a surf resort and 250-metre beach with hotel accommodation, restaurants and a spa at the Merseyside coastal town of Southport.

McKinney’s scheme is earmarked to open by 2023 subject to planning permission from Trafford Council. A total of 85% of respondents to a public consultation in January backed the proposals, according to McKinney.

The developer’s managing director Billy McKinney said: “We have submitted our plans to [the council] off the back of months of discussions with the local community, stakeholders and planning officers and, of course, our online consultation at the start of the year.

“TraffordCity already has a huge and growing leisure offer and we are looking forward to bringing something new to the area that is thrilling, interactive and accessible to be enjoyed by surfers of all abilities.”

McKinney Group Modern Surf Trafford Aerial CGI

The site on Barton Dock Road currently houses containers and is owned by Peel L&P

The project supports Peel L&P’s ongoing ambitions to “make TraffordCity one of the most experiential retail and leisure destinations in the UK”, added James Whittaker, executive development director at the established landowner and developer. TraffordCity is already home to the Trafford Centre retail mall, Chill Factore indoor ski slope, replacement SoccerDome facility and other leisure attractions.

Leslie Jones Architecture is the lead architect that designed the surf scheme and Exterior Architecture is the landscape advisor. Lambert Smith Hampton is McKinney’s planning advisor.

LSH director Paul Shuker said: “This development will complement the existing leisure offer and regenerate one of the last remaining brownfield sites in TraffordCity, helping to complete the area.

“We predict the scheme will bring a huge boost to the local tourism sector, with more than 350,000 extra visitors to TraffordCity, generating over £18m a year.As well a boost to tourism, it will create up to 240 permanent jobs once open, directly and indirectly, and a further 60 jobs during construction.”

Surfing is growing in popularity globally, and the complex “will put Greater Manchester on the surfing circuit for local, national and international competitions”, Shuker added.

McKinney was founded in Belfast in 1885 and has since grown to become a specialist out-of-town retail developer in Europe, Brazil and China.

Wavegarden Cove Hans Odriozola C.Wavegarden, Wave Park, South Korea

A Wavegarden park in South Korea c.Wavegarden

Your Comments

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Fits with the growing leisure offer, but seems similar to the more appropriately sited GoSurf centre at Southport rather than next to a busy polluted ring road.

By CliffyChip

No way, what about all the extra traffic on the motorway? Ridiculous idea, we don’t want it here, better at Southport

By Ann Margaret Armitage

Fantastic. More traffic for the Davyhulme M60 junctions. It’s already a misery round here at weekends, can’t get out of your own house for people buying overpriced coffee or going to the Traffic Centre.

By Somnambulist

The Trafford Centre and surrounding area is turning into the North West’s hidden gem and a real destination to visit for a long weekend – I expect a wave of further hotel, residential and leisure investment…

By Stu

What a miserable lot you in the comments are, all probably got 2 cars parked on your drive as well. If you don’t like being stuck in traffic get the Met, that’s what it’s for. Fantastic that another attraction is coming to the area. NIMBYs will always be moaning and harping back to old times whilst the rest of us enjoy the progress and what it brings. Just reading this article whilst enjoying a coffee in the Trafford Centre, ahhh lovely.

By Bob

They should be joining all the leisure destinations up with traffic free links and create a leisure park of some sort

By Anonymous

Brilliant can only add to all the fabulous activities available in the Trafford area, just need to move on now with the Spa opposite and the old DW Gym , Soccer Dome , not forgetting Trafford Waters

By Pete lindley