A new Legoland Discovery Centre is planned for Birmingham. The proposed location for the attraction is the Barclaycard Arena. The NEC Group who own the arena has begun the process of seeking planning permission. They are looking to change the use of some parts of the canalside venue. If planning is approved, this would open the door to a letting to Merlin Entertainments, the owner of the Legoland brand.
The Barclaycard Arena
Approximately 140 basement level parking spaces will be removed to accommodate the attraction. The New Legoland Discovery Centre will be similar to the current attraction located at The Trafford Centre in Greater Manchester.
The New Legoland Discovery Centre will be built over three floors. The proposed location is to the south side of the landmark arena, across the canal from Brindleyplace. It is expected that the attraction will contain a mix of indoor rides and interactive Lego-themed attractions and games. It is likely there will also be a 4D cinema, cafe and a shop.
New Legoland Discovery Centre
Around 40 to 50 staff will be employed, with approximately a quarter of them working part-time. Additional staff will be brought in at peak times of the year such as school holidays.
The planning report states that the New Legoland Discovery Centre will be a two-hour attraction open from 10.00am to 6.00pm daily. The attraction is expected to receive up to 2,560 visitors on its busiest days.
Boost to Birmingham City Centre
This new attraction would represent a major boost both to Birmingham city centre and, in particular, Westside which is seen as a key regeneration area. It will also take up existing retail space which was developed as part of Barclaycard’s sponsorship deal with the National Indoor Arena but has never been used.
The report by planning officer Victoria Chadaway said: “This proposal would reinforce and promote Birmingham’s role as a centre for tourism, culture and events.”
Merlin Entertainments own a number of well known UK Theme Parks and Attractions. Amongst the Attractions owned and operated by Merlin Entertainments are Alton Towers, Alton Towers Waterpark and Chessington World of Adventures. Merlin Entertainments also own and operate a number of additional attractions across the UK and throughout the world.