Setback for National Bowl plans

An artist's impression of the planned waterpark at the National Bowl in Milton Keynes.
An artist's impression of the planned waterpark at the National Bowl in Milton Keynes.

Development plans for the National Bowl have suffered a setback after an investment firm was dropped as the site’s preferred bidder.

Moirai Capital Investments was announced as the preferred bidder in September 2013 to carry out a redevelopment of the venue to include the UK’s largest indoor waterpark, swimming pool, indoor and outdoor football pitches as well as a 1.5km cycle track and significant investment in the National Bowl’s arena.

But Serco Leisure, the company that was due to manage the new facilities fell on hard times in December. Moirai was given time to find a suitable replacement, which was extended, but time has now run out. At its last board meeting the Milton Keynes Development Partnership (MKDP), which is overseeing the development, confirmed other options must be reconsidered.

Charles Macdonald, chief executive of MKDP said: “Despite all the hard work put in to deliver what would have been a fantastic facility for MK it is time to call it a day, re-group and consider options going forward.

“The exercise has been very useful and has identified a number of uses not considered previously. It’s now important to reflect on what is achievable at the Bowl in the future.”

He said yesterday’s announcement the Foo Fighters will be staging two concerts at the Bowl in early September was fantastic news and would reinforce the Bowl arena’s status in the music industry, adding: “MKDP is working closely with the Bowl’s tenants Gaming International to facilitate the show and we will pressing forward with a rejuvenated marketing strategy later in the year in order to attract more concerts, more activity and better utilisation of this iconic facility.”

MKDP is now looking to work with other developers with suitable proposals for the 70 acre site.