As multi-million-pound investment projects take shape at a luxury holiday destination near Narberth, a popular water park may be reopening to the public.
The Blue Lagoon water park is due an ‘operational review’ this summer, Bluestone National Park Resort stated on Wednesday. And this includes “considering potential opportunities for Pembrokeshire residents.”
The news comes alongside announcements that the resort is investing £30million to expand its facilities and further support its efforts in meeting high environmental and sustainable standards that protect and enhance the local area and community.
The investment projects include the launch of 80 new platinum lodges, transformation of a disused 19th century mill into a heritage restaurant, and development of an 11-hectare solar farm.
The new lodges alone are estimated to increase visitor spend in the area by £1million a year.
Around 250 jobs have been sustained during the construction phase of the platinum lodges and a further 100 operational jobs will be created once they open to guests.
Black Pool Mill set to launch
Black Pool Mill is set to launch today (Friday, May 19), after a £3million investment transformed the disused 19th century mill into a rustic heritage restaurant.
Designed to incorporate the mill’s original features and centuries-old architecture, chefs will create seasonal menus that are inspired by Pembrokeshire’s warm microclimate, rich soil and clear seas. They will strive to use locally sourced or foraged ingredients, to provide a unique and authentic local dining experience.
The family-run company has also invested £3million into the creation of an 11-hectare solar farm, which is part of its commitment to reduce carbon emissions and become net zero by 2040. The farm is set to generate 3.2 megawatts of electricity a year and has a lifespan of up to 40 years.
Bluestone’s chief executive, William McNamara, said:“The addition of the solar farm allows us to put money into a more sustainable future for Pembrokeshire, something we are incredibly passionate about at Bluestone.”
A large proportion of the investment has gone towards the development of 80 new Platinum Lodges on the resort which have been built in line with the company’s environmental values.
Bluestone’s Director of Sustainability, Marten Lewis, said: “Sustainable building practices have formed a huge part of construction of these projects, such as the platinum lodges which have been built upon the principles of biophilic design to bring elements of the natural world into the modern designs. Once complete, they will be heated by air source heat pumps.”
The lodges will offer new levels of comfort and luxury living with sunrooms, designated outdoor areas, picturesque surroundings, and ‘cwtch’ rooms to accommodate groups up to eight people.
Mr McNamara added: “At Bluestone, we’re always aiming to give something back to the community, and we’re delighted to be able to do that while building on the future of rural Pembrokeshire."
It’s a good time for the resort to break such good news.
The Blue Lagoon indoor water park is one of Bluestone National Park Resort's major attractions for guests staying at the resort, near Narberth, due to its all-weather facilities. Local residents disappointed that the water park, once open to the public, has remained closed to all but paying guests for the last four years have been angered by a ‘shocking‘ revelation earlier this month.
A £1.9m investment by Pembrokeshire County Council in the Bluestone holiday village, later converted to essentially valueless shares, was largely based on the understanding that there would be year-round public access to the resort's Blue Lagoon, a councillor has stated.
The claim that these behind-closed-doors decisions in 2009 lost Pembrokeshire taxpayers £1.8m was made by Cabinet Member for Corporate Finance Cllr Alec Cormack on May 11 and has prompted a public call to open the Blue Lagoon to locals once again.
Blue Lagoon water park's operational review update due this summer
A spokesperson for the resort has said:
“Following the pandemic, and due to a combination of covid restrictions and the safety of our staff, guests, and residents of Pembrokeshire, the difficult decision was taken only to allow staying guests access to the venue, which remains in place but is under constant review.
“As part of these regular operational reviews, we are once again considering this and the impact on the overall guest experience at the water park. This includes considering potential opportunities for Pembrokeshire residents. We are hoping this review will be completed shortly and hope to announce any plans in the summer.
“In the meantime, access to Blue Lagoon is free for all guests staying on an overnight Spa break or a short break in our resort accommodation and for any employee of Bluestone and their families.
“Alternatively, if you have a friend or family member staying at the resort, there is currently an option to purchase ‘guest visitor day passes’ to access the water park .“
If you would like to book a break or consider career opportunities at Bluestone, you can visit www.bluestonewales.com.