Billy Stairmand

Billy Stairmand

Oh dear, more bad news for Surf Snowdonia, but then playing God was never going to be easy was it?

It's been a tricky but not disastrous start for the world's first commercial Wave Garden, punctuated by several breakdowns and characterised by mixed reviews. Now the North Wales wave pool has announced it will be closing early for the winter, due to a failure of the main drive mechanism which will take at least three months to fix. All 60 seasonal members of staff have had their contracts brought to a premature end (the facility was due to take a winter break in 8 weeks' time anyway), and eight permanent employees have reportedly also been made redundant.

Here's the official statement from Martin Ainscough, chairman of the Ainscough Group which owns Surf Snowdonia:

“This is a very disappointing day for us all at Surf Snowdonia, and we know it’s especially difficult for our excellent staff and for all of the people who have booked to come surfing with us.

“We are in the process of notifying all customers who have booked sessions and we will refund all payments.

“During the winter closure period we will be making further investment in order to improve the surf lagoon and broaden our offer. By spring of 2016 we hope to open for our first full season with an improved offer. We also hope to re-employ many of the excellent people who have worked with us this season.

“Surf Snowdonia was always intended as a long term investment in our group and our extra investment over the winter will prove our absolute commitment to make Surf Snowdonia a success."