A 28-acre wellbeing resort costing £250m will be built in Manchester after the project won unanimous planning approval.
Therme Group – which originated in Germany but which now has pioneering projects open or under development in Europe, Asia and North America – plans to open Therme Manchester in 2023.
The huge site – the size of 19 football pitches – will be located in Peel L&P’s TraffordCity, and will combine hundreds of water-based activities with wellbeing treatments, art, nature and technology.
The development will be the first of its kind anywhere in the UK, and is forecast to attract up to two million visitors a year – figures which would make it the most visited water-based attraction in Europe.
Stelian Iacob, Senior Vice President of Therme Group Worldwide and CEO of Therme Group UK, said: “We are delighted that planning has been approved so we can bring the UK’s first Therme Group city wellbeing resort to Manchester.
“This will transform life for city residents and people further afield, creating a fun and accessible experience with profound health and wellbeing benefits for all.”
Therme Manchester’s natural environment, with thousands of plants and trees, will be created by world-leading designers, artists, architects and engineers to achieve the highest levels of experience, quality and sustainability.
Visitors will have access to hundreds of activities, with Therme promising ‘an experience far beyond anything offered in a hotel, gym or holiday resort, at a fraction of the cost’.
The central focus of the project is a two-acre, wellbeing garden in the shape of a rose, the national flower of England. This bio-diverse garden for all seasons will be an evolving work of art, with petal-shaped terraces and beautiful pools and water features. It will act as a focal point for socialising, learning and discovery.
A large family zone will include waterslides, a wave pool, indoor and outdoor pools, steam rooms, exotic palm tree relaxation areas and dozens of other fun, relaxing and healthy activities, all in a perfect tropical environment.
A dedicated adults’ area will have warm-water lagoons among spectacular botanical gardens, swim-up bars, therapeutic mineral baths and beautifully designed steam rooms and saunas.
A wide range of individual wellbeing treatments will be available, with programmes tailored for guests of all ages and needs. With advanced body scanners and skilled therapists, each guest can have a unique programme designed especially for them, inspired by traditions from across the globe.
Throughout Therme Manchester there will be a range of bars, cafés and restaurants, while nature and work from world-leading artists will be integrated too, alongside thousands of trees and plants which will create a bio-diverse environment.
Andrew Western, Leader of Trafford Council, which this week approved the project, said: “We are delighted that this Therme Group development, the first of its kind in the UK, is coming to Trafford.
“It is a huge scheme which will be a fantastic addition to the area and supports several of the council’s priorities including health and wellbeing.
“It will bring thousands of jobs to the borough and millions of visitors each year, who will benefit our local economy on a massive scale.
“We are proud that Therme Group has selected Trafford for this superb development.”
Therme Manchester will be built opposite intu Trafford Centre next to Barton Square, with a Metrolink station directly outside. EventCity, which currently occupies part of the site, will be relocated and redeveloped as a state-of-the-art events venue in TraffordCity.
James Whittaker, Peel L&P Group Development Director, added: “The creation of Therme Manchester will bring an accessible, yet world-class health and wellbeing attraction to the people of Greater Manchester and beyond.
“It will transform TraffordCity, bring fantastic employment opportunities as well as bolster the regional economy, including tourism, and be a key contributor to the Northern Powerhouse.”
Therme Manchester is the latest development in Therme Group’s global expansion programme, to create the most advanced wellbeing resorts in cities around the world.
It is the first of a number of new generation projects in development by Therme Group, including other UK locations, mainland Europe, North America and the Asia-Pacific region.