Merlin continues Midlands push with ambitious NEC project

Fresh from having its new Legoland Discovery Centre in Birmingham approved, Merlin is now eyeing an attraction at Birmingham’s NEC, codenamed Project Thor.

The company has applied to change the use of the NEC’s Pavilion building to create a 145,000 square feet attraction, rumoured to include a sky diving experience and ropes course.

A planning statement submitted on behalf of Merlin by Nathaniel Lichfield & Partners said it could attract up to 2,000 customers per day at peak times.

“Active and adventure experiences are becoming increasingly popular and it is predicted that this sub-sector will continue to grow,” the statement added. “The imaginative development by Merlin will set a new standard in terms of indoor themed attractions; it will be operational year round, supporting the role of the NEC overall as well as generating its own benefits for the local area.

“It helps diversify the overall NEC operation which in turn assists this important business to compete in the international market.”

The project would employ 25 full-time staff and a further 93 workers will be drafted in during the summer holidays. The total investment value of the development is estimated to be between £15m and £20m.

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