An operator has been chosen to bring a tree-top attraction to Heaton Park – helping to enhance the attractions on offer as part of the on-going, long-term improvements across the park.
The team behind the Lake District-based company, Tree Top Trek Ltd, have 25-years’ experience between them, building many of the most popular family high ropes courses across the UK, and now they will bring their considerable know-how to Heaton park, creating 16 full-time equivalent jobs and two annual apprenticeship opportunities.
The award-winning company – Best Tourism Experience in England for 2015 for their Brockhole National Park Centre in the Lake District – will invest in the park, building the Tree Top Trek Heaton Park course and managing all running costs of the attraction, where Heaton will be home to their pioneering, brand-new “Treetop Nets”, which are exclusive to Tree Top Trek.
There will be no cost to the city council, and through the partnership, the Council’s share of the income will be invested back in to the wider park.
The new attraction at Heaton Park will cater for a broad range of ages, from three years and upwards, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the woodland and explore the park in a new way.
The course will cover just a few acres of woodland within the 640 acre park to the north west of the park, close to amenities such as parking, public toilets and the Stables Cafe.
Tree Top Trek Heaton Park proposals
The proposals include a mini Trek, a High Ropes Course and Zip Safari, alongside the newer Treetop Nets experience.
The proposals are subject to planning permission and local consultation – including further site specific biodiversity studies and assessment of associated visitor service needs.
The Tree Top Trek Heaton Park adventure course will look to open to the public by Easter 2017.
Clean City funding – allocated in part to Heaton Park from a one off dividend paid to the city council as part-owners of Manchester Airport Group – has already been used to improve footpaths, bins and benches.
This fund will also improve the popular playground, replacing or repairing every piece of play furniture – including the 10-meter tower slide. Introducing disabled access swings and roundabout will also be part of the improvement works.
Elsewhere in the park, the Hall has benefitted from £400k of Historic England funding, which has helped to limit further dilapidation of the building – repairing the roof, replacing joinery and refurbishing the windows – all in keeping with the listed status of the property.
Cllr Rosa Battle, Manchester City Council’s executive member for culture and leisure, said: “It’s with huge excitement that we can announce plans for the latest addition to Heaton Park. We believe Tree Top Trek will help to develop the park as an essential destination and help people enjoy the park in new and exhilarating ways.
“Tree Top Trek bring with them a wealth of experience in the field and I can’t wait to have a go.
“Heaton Park is one of Manchester’s most-loved assets and our continuing development and improvement works will ensure the space can be enjoyed by generations of people into the future.”
Mike Turner, Managing Director of Treetop Trek, said “We’re delighted to be working with Manchester City Council at this fantastic site. From our base at Windermere we already have many contacts and customers in the Manchester area and we’re really looking forward to bringing another world-class visitor attraction to the North West.”