A deal has been signed which could bring a Great Wolf water park with 500-room hotel to Basingstoke.

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council has agreed an ‘in principle’ deal with US-based Great Wolf Resorts to build the indoor water park resort next to the Basingstoke Leisure Park.

The resort, which would be in addition to the new aquadrome being planned, would also include conference facilities, mini-golf, mini-bowling, ropes course, games arcade and a selection of restaurants, cafés and bars, all subject to getting planning permission.

Great Wolf Resorts currently operates 20 Great Wolf Lodge-branded resorts in the US and Canada, designed for family holidays. It also has planning permission to build a UK resort near Bicester.

If Great Wolf Lodge in Basingstoke goes ahead, the resort would make day passes to its indoor water park facilities available to local residents.

The council believes that, as well as attracting an additional 600,000 visitors to the borough each year and providing more than 600 jobs, the resort would attract more operators to the leisure park.

The ‘in principle’ deal paves the way for the council and Great Wolf Resorts to start negotiations for a long lease for the council-owned land before the leisure operator can submit a planning application for the site which is currently a golf centre.

Co-leader and cabinet member for finance and property Cllr Gavin James said: “One of our key priorities as a cabinet is delivering a leisure park that is fit for the 21st Century and a place that our residents can be proud of and we are really pleased to have signed this initial deal to move forward to bring Great Wolf to Basingstoke.

“It is an important first step in developing plans for this exciting new attraction that would provide amazing new facilities that local residents can enjoy, lots of new opportunities and attract thousands of visitors to the borough in a boost to our local economy.

“Alongside this, the deal and sale of the land will see the council receive significant funding which will be reinvested in the regeneration of the leisure park.

“We know how important the facilities currently on offer at the golf centre are to our residents so we are also developing plans to re-provide those facilities.”

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