Work Starts on Weymouth's New Tourist Attraction
Published on 15 Feb 11
It's Official!! The planning permission for a major new tourist attraction in Weymouth has just been passed.
Eminent local Sand Sculptor, Mark Anderson and local businessman David Hicks have joined forces to create SANDWORLD International Sand Sculpture Park - here in Weymouth, Dorset.
Opening to the public on 22nd April 2011, SANDWORLD will exhibit fantastic sculptures up to 5 metres in height made entirely of sand and water. They will be created by competing World Class Sand Artists, who will be flying in a month before the opening to construct the masterpieces – all set to a maritime theme.
As a World Class Sand Master, Mark has competed around the world; recreated Windsor Palace in sand for Her Majesty The Queen and worked directly for many prestigious blue chip clients including Sky, BBC, O2, Peugeot, BA and BMW along with many others.
Work will begin immediately on the site, which is located at Lodmoor Country Park, Weymouth close to the Sealife Centre between the Leisure Ranch and the recently newly restored, miniature electric ride-on train.
"We are very excited about this new venture", says Mark. "SANDWORLD International Sand Sculpture Park is a natural progression from my seafront exhibition and builds on the worldwide success of sand sculpting events, exhibitions and festivals. It will celebrate tradition and is the UK's first competitive international sand sculpture event."
Mark will continue to run his seafront exhibition; an exhibition started by his Grandfather Fred Darrington in the 1920's. Mark explains, "the seafront exhibition has received the support of Weymouth & Portland Borough Council and local residents for over 90 years. It is embedded in the seafront heritage and I will continue to run it in addition to SANDWORLD."
Whilst the primary focus will be as a visitor attraction to experience, enjoy, play and learn with this art form, the scope is much broader. Notably, it will include the programmes/strategies for children and adults to improve 3D modelling ability, build social, team and motor skills and release their creativity. Cultural engagement, academic and education programmes and sustainable development will be key to its delivery.
"As the structures are built entirely from sand and water, we aim to bring community, arts and entertainment together at a minimal cost to the environment", explains David, who is also a part time sand sculptor and has worked for over 5 years on major projects with Mark. "Visitors will be able to get close to the exhibits and try their hand at the art form themselves. We will also be developing interactive workshops, community projects, team building and corporate hospitality programmes."
The main jaw dropping sculptures will be showcased under cover in a huge Marquee, where a café will be serving refreshments. The entrance fee will be kept low to encourage as many people as possible see these wonderful creations.
"This year, Sand World will be open to the public from April 22nd until the end of October. We are then looking at having an amazing, 'Weymouth Winter Wonderland' attraction for the Christmas holidays, with plenty of fun activities for children of all ages," explains David. "We will be asking the Sand Masters back in 2012 to create masterpieces on an Ancient Greek Olympic theme."