Waves Set to Hit the Capital

The Wave London launches consultation on £45m Surfing Destination in Enfield 

The first of its kind to be built in any capital city around the world

Plans to bring a slice of the ocean to London are taking a big step forward, with the start of public consultation for a state-of-the-art inland surfing destination in Edmonton. The £45m project led by The Wave would enhance around 100 acres of land in Lee Valley Regional Park, an area already so well known for its sport, leisure and natural attractions

Although designs for this new oasis of sport, health and wellbeing, leisure and relaxation are still at an early stage, the team at The Wave are looking to talk to local people about their vision for the site at a series of events at Lee Valley Athletics Centre on Saturday 16th July (11am-2pm) and Tuesday 19 July (5pm-8pm).

For those who can’t make them, The Wave will also be hosting an online webinar which is taking place on Wednesday 20th July, and the team has also launched a new website www.thewave.london for people to find out more, stay up to date and share any questions or feedback.

The Wave has entered into an Exclusivity Agreement with Lee Valley Regional Park Authority (LVRPA) as the landowner, who are wholly supportive of the project. The plans could make London the first capital city in the world to offer an inland surfing destination.

The Wave opened its first site in Bristol in 2019 and following its tremendous success is on a mission to share the health benefits and pure joy of water and waves with people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities. This sustainable and visionary project will be the centrepiece of an exciting reinvigoration of land at the Lee Valley Leisure Complex, behind the Lee Valley Athletics Centre in Edmonton, North London. It will bring both visitors and jobs to the area.

Speaking about The Wave London project, Nick Hounsfield, Founder of The Wave said:

“The Wave is built on a belief in the power of water, waves and the outdoors to positively change lives. Since opening our world-first destination in 2019 we have seen first-hand the amazing impact it has had, be that with school children from inner-city Bristol, elite surfers training as part of Team England, para surfers taking part in the Adaptive Open competition, participants in the surf therapy courses we run, or the many families visiting to simply spend time having fun in the water together.  

“From the very beginning of developing plans for Bristol we worked closely with local communities to gain their input and ensure that our plans reflected their feedback. Since we opened, we’ve continued to liaise with local residents and the wider Bristol community – many of whom are now also employees! We look forward to meeting with local Edmonton residents, organisations and partners, and working with them in the same collaborative way to ensure The Wave London caters to the need of both residents and visitors alike. 

“The Wave London would bring the many physical and mental health benefits of being in water and waves inland, to an urban environment and to those who can’t easily access the coast. This site is incredible and is in many ways a hidden oasis. We want to enhance this green space, help people access it and encourage everyone to get outside in nature. For over 50 years LVRPA has worked to transform post-industrial land into spaces for leisure, recreation, sport and nature – we can’t think of a better partner to be working with to bring our vision to London.”

Shaun Dawson, Chief Executive of Lee Valley Regional Park Authority said:

“These proposals have the potential to create a stunning new regional leisure hub bringing health, fitness, sport and outdoor activities to millions of people, along with many new jobs.

“This leisure development would complement our existing world class sports venues up and down the 26-mile-long Regional Park, including our three hugely popular London 2012 legacy venues providing the best cycling, white water, hockey and tennis opportunities to be found anywhere. 

“A generation ago we built what was then Europe’s largest leisure centre at Lee Valley Leisure Complex, then in 2007 we opened the stunning world class Lee Valley Athletics Centre which is loved and used by communities across London and further afield. Now we hope to bring inland surfing here to create an outstanding new leisure destination for the capital and the region.”

If plans are approved by the London Borough of Enfield and the Mayor of London, The Wave London would offer a new purpose-built surfing lake offering waves for everyone to enjoy, set in amazing green space and could feature other elements, such as a skateboarding, cycle trails, and additional health and wellbeing activities.  

The existing lake in the north of the Lee Valley Leisure Complex will not be affected by The Wave London and the project aims to enhance its biodiversity and open up this wonderful bit of green space to the public. Activities at the world-class Lee Valley Athletics Centre would continue as normal.

About the site

Lee Valley Leisure Complex is home to Lee Valley Athletics Centre, which opened in 2007, the newly refurbished 12 screen Odeon Luxe Lee Valley and a wedding and events venue. Lee Valley Golf Course and Lee Valley Camping and Caravan Park, Edmonton are also on the site and, if the scheme goes ahead, both will close. The site is designated as Green Belt and has been used for leisure since the 1970s.

About the technology

The Wave London will use Wavegarden’s Cove technology, which can generate up to 1,000 quality waves per hour, with heights starting at 50cm and peaking at almost 2m (6.5ft), allowing people of all ages and abilities to experience the joy of surfing. It provides perfect surfing conditions for everyone, from newcomers picking up a surfboard for the very first time, to professionals training for the Olympics.

About surfing

  • Surfing is a fast-growing sport  
  • Demand for surfing is high in London – estimated 117,000 surfers 
  • In the UK it is estimated that there are c.650,000 regular surfers – over 2.5 million surfs a year 
  • Surfing made its Olympic debut for the first time in Tokyo