The second wave park investment under Stoneweg Infrasport strategy will transform the UK’s second largest city into one of Europe’s leading urban surf destinations
Stoneweg InfraSport, the recently launched partnership between Stoneweg and Teras Capital focused on the acquisition, development and operation of man-made urban surf destinations across Europe, has acquired the former Emerge Surf development site in Coleshill, Birmingham, from IM Properties, where it intends to deliver the UK’s largest wave park. The c. £50 million commitment represents Stoneweg’s first investment in the UK.
The development, which benefits from excellent road and rail links, will be centred around a best-in-class, 5.4-acre man-made WaveGarden Cove surfing lagoon, able to generate 1,000 waves per hour, up to two meters high, with adjustable size and shape. Former Emerge Surf founder Steve Price will stay on as General Manager of the wave park, which is due to complete in Q4 2025 and is expected to welcome up to 200,000 visitors per year.
Visitors will also have access to a surf academy, equipment rental and surf store, restaurant areas with coworking spaces and additional recreational activities including hot tubs, a playground and pump track.
Urban surfing is a fast-growing global activity, which is underpinning increasing interest in the development of new wave parks.
The Birmingham wave park is the second being developed by Stoneweg InfraSport, following the launch last year of what will be the largest wave park in Europe, in Madrid, in partnership with Atlético de Madrid. Located in the future sports city next to the club’s new Metropolitano stadium, the four hectares site will feature Europe’s largest urban beach and forms part of a project led by Atlético de Madrid to turn the area into a leading global lifestyle destinations.
Stoneweg InfraSport is focused on urban locations in European cities with populated catchment areas that have limited access to high quality and consistent natural surf, including Spain, Germany, Portugal, Italy and the UK. Leveraging Stoneweg’s deep operational real estate expertise and commitment to creating iconic leisure destinations that enrich individuals and local communities, Stoneweg InfraSport is currently undergoing feasibility studies for what would be its third wave park development, in Malaga, on the Costa del Sol.
The wave parks all utilise Wavegarden Cove technology, a revolutionary wave generating technology created by Wavegarden. The Spanish company’s surf parks incorporate the latest in sustainable design and construction practices, whilst the wave generating machinery is designed to recuperate and reuse part of the energy created in the wave generation process and with little energy lost in the transmission of forces from the machinery to the water.
Birmingham is the United Kingdom’s second most populous city, with nearly eight million people – including 1.4 million school, college and university students – within one hour of the wave park site.
Miguel de Lucas, Managing Partner at Teras Capital, commented: “We are excited to be leading this project, the second Stoneweg InfraSport investment. This new wave park in Birmingham represents our commitment to fuse sport and leisure, offering an innovative experience in what is the second largest metropolitan area in the UK. This project will not only provide access to urban surfing for millions of people, but will also become an international benchmark in terms of the facilities and entertainment offering for visitors.”
Jaume Sabater, CEO of Stoneweg, added: “This project will see Stoneweg to combine its real estate expertise and commitment to social impact through the delivery of a ground-breaking new development that brings one of the world’s most popular sports to the UK’s second largest metropolitan area. We are also excited to have closed our first investment in the UK, one of Europe’s key real estate markets and one which has witnessed a strong post-covid bounce back in demand for leisure activity.
“Our InfraSport strategy extends our track record of continually innovating and diversifying our product range to reflect changing consumer behavior and to meet the demands of institutional capital for exposure to dynamic, experiential real estate that will deliver strong, long-term returns. This is a unique opportunity, alongside a best-in-class partner, to be a first mover in delivering a high quality, pan-European portfolio of leisure-led destinations, that capitalise on the growth prospects of what is one of the few truly global sports.”