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New amusement ride for thrill-seekers could be coming to Great Yarmouth seafront to replace Amazonia reptile zoo

PUBLISHED: 16:20 13 June 2017 | UPDATED: 17:05 13 June 2017

A similar Slingshot ride at a theme park in the US. Photo: Wikipedia/Gregory Varnum.

A similar Slingshot ride at a theme park in the US. Photo: Wikipedia/Gregory Varnum.

Wikipedia/Gregory Varnum

A new amusement ride for thrill-seekers has arrived on Great Yarmouth’s seafront.

The former Amazonia attraction on Marine Parade in Great Yarmouth which was demolished last year. 

Picture: James BassThe former Amazonia attraction on Marine Parade in Great Yarmouth which was demolished last year. Picture: James Bass

Plans have been retrospectively lodged with Great Yarmouth Borough Council by Raymond Knowles to set up a slingshot ride at the site of the former Amazonia reptile zoo.

The attraction comprises of two 45m (148ft) poles and between them steel cables support a capsule which is pulled to the ground and then catapulted in the air with the riders securely strapped to their seats.

Similar rides propel thrill-seekers into the air at speeds of between 50-70mph.

The former Amazonia and butterfly farm building on Marine Pararde being demolished. 

Picture: James BassThe former Amazonia and butterfly farm building on Marine Pararde being demolished. Picture: James Bass

MORE: Great Yarmouth seafront could be getting a brand new attraction

Project manager at the Greater Yarmouth Tourism BID Karen Young said the ride, which is the first of its kind in Yarmouth, is a bonus to the resort’s offering.

It is expected to open in the next few weeks.

She added: “Anything that adds to the value of someone visiting the resort is always good.

“I was actually on the seafront at the weekend with a friend from Germany who said they didn’t have anything like the Golden Mile back home and thought it was amazing.”

According to planning papers the ride, positioned in between the Marina Centre leisure facility and the Sea Life Centre, will be open from around March to October each year, depending on the school holidays.

The 30-year-old greenhouse building, which housed Amazonia, first opened as a butterfly farm in 1986.

It closed its doors in 2014 and the site was razed to the ground in March last year.

A spokesman for Great Yarmouth Borough Council said at the time it took the decision to demolish the building it owned because it had become obsolete.

MORE: What you said you wanted to replace Amazonia

He added: “Its continued presence along the Golden Mile would have a negative impact on the visitor experience and footfall during the season, as well as efforts to promote the site for an appropriate, viable use.

“The council aspires to attract a statement tourist attraction to this prominent site, providing yet another special reason to visit the borough and thereby supporting the local economy.”

This newspaper asked readers what they would like to see at the site in February last year.

Various suggestions included a water park, outdoor play park, water fountains, ice skating rink, or just an open grassy area.

One respondent replied and said it should be a grassed area with seating.

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