Inland surfing lake in Bristol prepares for reopening on Monday
An inland surfing lake that can generate up to 1,000 waves an hour is preparing to reopen on Monday as lockdown measures in England are eased.
The Wave, in the village of Easter Compton, Bristol, cost £25 million and took nine years to create.
It had only been open for four months last year when it was forced to close due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The attraction was able to reopen on August 1 for a couple of months before shutting its doors again.
Nick Hounsfield, founder of The Wave, said he now felt an air of optimism and is looking forward to opening from Monday, when outdoor sports facilities can reopen in England.
“We feel like we have all been holding our breath for the last few months,” he said.
“Lockdown has been challenging in different ways, and at different times, for all of us, but at last there is light at the end of the tunnel.
“It definitely feels like we all need to unplug and reconnect again, and I’m not sure I’ve ever needed to see, hear and ride the waves quite as much as I do now.”
The business has recently recruited more than 60 new employees ready for the new season.
This takes the total number of people working at The Wave to 185.
The Wave will operate under Covid-19 restrictions when it opens on Monday, including pre-booking only, the rule of six or two households for group bookings, takeaway only from the cafe and masks to be worn when inside.
Social distancing measures are also in place across the site, which features a 590ft-long (180m) lake, filled with 26 million litres of water.
Waves at the site, which has six different surfing zones, range from nearly 20in (50cm) to more than 6ft (2m) high.