UK. Global wellness organisation Therme Group is planning a UK rollout of some of the largest wellbeing resorts in the country following the approval of the first of these projects – the £250 million Therme Manchester.
Set on a large, 28-acre site in Peel L&P’s TraffordCity which receives more than 40 million visitors annually, the Manchester project will combine nature, sustainable technology and culture – a formula Therme has fine-tuned in European locations such as Bucharest in Romania and three others in Germany.
Work begins on the Manchester resort next year with the opening earmarked for 2023. It is expected to be an economic driver and also support the government’s Northern Powerhouse initiative.
Similar concepts are now being planned for London, Scotland and Wales at sites located near to city centres. Therme says the rollout will create over 3,000 new jobs and “represent a major investment in the health and wellbeing of the population”.
The plans come as the negative mental effects of Covid-19 have hit the headlines around the world. In a statement, Germany-based Therme Group says: “Wellbeing should be accessible to all. The scale of (our) resorts allows entry prices to be set at a level that is socially inclusive. The physical and mental health benefits visitors experience support preventative healthcare in communities.”
UK Chief Operating Officer, James Mark, adds: “Our resorts provide a vital piece of social infrastructure in our cities, creating relaxing and fun places to meet whilst also nurturing mental and physical health. Our aim is to ensure that a Therme Group wellbeing resort is within easy reach of 90% of the UK population.”
The ambitious UK development drive will also enable new technology and R&D partnerships and boost local and regional tourism. Therme Group’s last resort opening took place in 2016 in Bucharest, Romania and now welcomes 1.3 million visitors a year.
Typically at these resorts, guests can experience thermal bathing traditions from around the world, affordable wellbeing therapies in a bio-diverse natural environment, plus other health-related activities for all ages.
Therme is working with various government bodies, investors and others to deliver its UK projects and says that “discussions are at an advanced stage with local authorities and stakeholders in several locations in Wales, Scotland and London”.
In March, Therme Group appointed Richard Land as its Chief Development Officer to take responsibility for all UK projects, from inception through to development and operation.
Land has extensive experience in the UK and European construction sector and, as part of his role, he will secure project opportunities throughout the country and also globally. Therme Group’s international ambitions extend to Asia, Europe and North America.
What Therme Manchester will offer
The £250 million Therme Manchester project was unanimously approved by Trafford Council’s planning committee in March. On opening it will boast hundreds of water-based activities, wellbeing treatments, art, nature and technology. Therme claims it will be “an experience far beyond anything offered in a hotel, gym or holiday resort – at a fraction of the cost”.
The venue is forecast to attract up to two million visitors per year, within five years. If that happens it will become the most visited water-based attraction in Europe.
At 28-acres – the size of 19 football pitches – Therme Manchester will be opposite intu Trafford Centre next to Barton Square, with a Metrolink station directly outside. EventCity, which currently occupies part of the site, will be relocated and redeveloped as an events venue in TraffordCity.
The venue’s natural environment will feature thousands of plants and trees created by top-notch designers, artists, architects and engineers. The central focus of the project is a two-acre wellbeing garden in the shape of a rose, the national flower of England.
Therme says the garden “will be an evolving work of art, with petal-shaped terraces and beautiful pools and water features”. It will be the focal point for socialising, learning and discovery.
A family zone will include water slides, a wave pool, indoor and outdoor pools, steam rooms, exotic palm tree relaxation areas, and dozens of other relaxing and healthy activities, all set in a tropical environment.
There will also be a dedicated adults area with warm-water lagoons surrounded by botanical gardens, with swim-up bars, therapeutic mineral baths and high-spec steam rooms and saunas. Daily activities will include water-based fitness classes, plus yoga, Pilates and other activities. Each guest can have a unique programme designed especially for them.
Across the Therme Manchester site there will be a range of bars, cafés and restaurants offering everything from snacks and light bites to à la carte service with varied menus to appeal to a wide range of tastes.