York & North Yorkshire

Alpamare Scarborough water park entry fees 'too expensive'

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Media captionIts owners said the attraction was intended to be a "special treat"

Entry prices for a new water park which was rescued with a multimillion-pound council cash injection have been branded "unaffordable".

Alpamare water park was bailed out with a loan of £9m from Scarborough Borough Council in 2009 after it was put on hold due to the economic downturn.

Some residents have said £60 for a family ticket to the park - which opens in July - is too expensive.

Its owners said the attraction was intended to be a "special treat".

Tickets will cost £19 per adult, £15 per child, or £60 for a family of four - for both locals and visitors to the seaside town.

Plans for the £14m water park on the former Burniston Road car park were first released in 2005, and include indoor and outdoor pools, waterslides and a spa.

Image copyright Geograph/Alan Walker
Image caption Scarborough had an outdoor pool at the North Bay (pictured 1967) which was open from 1938 and closed in 2007, plus an outdoor seawater pool at the South Bay which closed in 1990 and was filled in in 2003

Development halted in 2009 because of the economic downturn followed by a £9m loan from Scarborough Council to developers Benchmark Leisure.

It was due to open at Easter but has been put back to July.

Image caption The water park is expected to attract half a million visitors a year and forms part of a wider development in Scarborough's North Bay

Alpamare is part of the £150m Sands development in the North Yorkshire seaside town.

Resident Lindsay Sweeting said: "In summer, kids are going to want to use that water park every day and their parents can't afford it, it's not fair on the parents."

Another resident said: "It's not so bad if you're going on holiday and you've saved up your spending money, but as a local family it's a bit much. You wouldn't be able to afford to go every weekend."

Image caption Vicki Jones, head of operations at Alpamare, said: "The water park is a special treat for a family, it's equivalent to an amusement park. Perhaps people are confusing the water park with a facility like the indoor pool."

Head of operations Vicki Jones said: "We certainly don't want to alienate locals or anyone who can't afford to come on a regular basis.

"However the water park is a special treat for a family. It's equivalent to an amusement park, perhaps people are confusing the water park with a facility like the indoor pool."

Image caption Scarborough resident Lindsay Sweeting collected over 100 signatures from residents calling for cheaper prices for locals

A council spokesperson said: "Alpamare is not a replacement for the old Atlantis north bay pool, nor is it meant to mimic the current council-run Indoor Pool, which will in fact be replaced with a new facility at Scarborough Leisure Village at Weaponness in 2017."

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