Theme Park, Amusement Park and Attractions Industry News

Vertical theme park for Birmingham

Plans for a new tower attraction in Birmingham, England, are at an advanced stage. Richard Pawley has sold his ‘vertical theme park’ concept to Pettifer Estates and is to work with them as operations director with a view to opening the project by 2010.

It is anticipated that sightseers and adrenaline junkies alike will be attracted to England’s second city to experience the attraction if it gets planning permission next year. Originally named the Birmingham Pinnacle, Pettifer Estates is calling the tower VTP200, the first in a planned series of ‘VerTiPlex’ structures.

The 200-metre leisure and observation tower will be designed by award-winning architects RTKL. External glass lifts will transport visitors from a shimmering gold base, with its hotel, bars and restaurants up the sides of the tower to a series of observation decks offering breathtaking 360° views.

At the observation level visitors will have access to seven thrilling rides and activities – Flight Trainer, Giant Drop, Seesaw, Walk of Fear, Sky Jump, Bungee Jump and Climb To The Top. Ride Trade of Liechtenstein will be the exclusive supplier of these attractions, many of which have been designed exclusively for VTP200. A more leisurely ride experience will be provided aboard the slowly-revolving Gyro Tower at the top of the main structure, and the most intrepid visitors can then complete the 10-metre climb to the very top.

“VTP200 is the next evolution in leisure entertainment,” believes Charles Pettifer, project director for Pettifer Estates. “We aim to deliver a world class visitor attraction in the heart of the city, which will be a bold and dynamic icon for Birmingham and the West Midlands. The VTP200 is not just a building, it is a machine that will constantly be changing on the Birmingham skyline.”

VTP200 will be located next to Birmingham’s Millennium Point in the 425-acre Eastside regeneration area of the city and overlook the proposed City Park, which is expected to be completed around the same time.

Warwickshire-based Pettifer Estates is making a £95million investment in the project and hopes it will attract more than 1 million visitors in its first year, Research suggests VTP200 will generate an estimated £18.7 million (€27.4m) to £26.2 million (€38.4) of additional tourism spend through longer stays and new visits to the area.

Leader of Birmingham City Council, Cllr Mike Whitby, describes the project as, “a dramatic and exciting development which reflects the city’s vision for the 21st century.”

Local residents were show plans and models of the tower at a public exhibition on September 22, and more information can be found now at: VTP200.com

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