North West

The restoration of SEA LIFE Blackpool

SEA LIFE Blackpool

A project to restore and enhance SEA LIFE Blackpool’s ocean tank – which includes the installation of interactive guest experiences – has reached completion.

Work began on the project in January 2013 and reached completion in March 2013. In addition to the restoration, work was also undertaken to check the structural stability of tanks and address any issues that could cause problems for the live stock.

The work was undertaken as part of SEA LIFE’s continuous maintenance programme which monitors structural integrity on a regular basis. Throughout the duration of the project SEA LIFE Blackpool remained open to visitors.

Commenting on the project, Ian Cook the Project Manager on SEA LIFE Blackpool, said:

“Guest safety is always a top priority so the site was fully assessed before we could begin. We then closed off the areas that we needed to work on, without causing any major disruptions to guests.

“Once work got underway it was a fairly swift process. SEA LIFE is a business so work has to be fast tracked to ensure that there is as little disruption to livestock and visitors as possible.”

SEA LIFE Blackpool

Ian added:

“I work on many projects like this, including Madame Tussauds in London, where we will often complete works within a 24 hour timeframe. Efficiency is very important.”

Eclipse was the main contractor on the project, whilst BWB Consulting Ltd was the structural engineer and Paul Crosby of PCA was the CDMC.

A key aspect of a project like this is to ensure that everyone is briefed on as much historical information as possible. Working on this project, the site team researched and contacted the person who fitted the tank more than twenty years ago to ensure they were fully prepared for the restoration.

Ian said:

“The work for SEA LIFE is an ongoing process. We recently completed similar works at SEA LIFE Hunstanton and although the upcoming SEA LIFE in Manchester is a new build project, the same teams and specialists are also involved with this site.”

SEA LIFE Manchester is a brand new, £6.5 million SEA LIFE aquarium attraction currently being built in the Trafford Centre. Operated by Merlin, the new attraction will be installed into a 36,000 sq ft site in the centre’s Barton Square, next to Merlin’s popular LEGOLAND® Discovery Centre.

Set to open in June 2013, SEA LIFE Manchester will be the 14th SEA LIFE attraction in the UK and will feature over 5,000 creatures, 30 spectacular marine displays and an underwater ocean tunnel.

SEA LIFE Blackpool

Ian said:

“The guest experience is always very important and is something which we have to enhance each time we undertake restoration projects.

“I enjoy being a part of these works for SEA LIFE as it is always very interesting.”

SEA LIFE Blackpool is the home of the Shark Reef, where guests can walk under the ocean and enter the realm of the shark. Guests are invited to discover stunning creatures, uncover the threats to their existence; and to learn why sharks are so misunderstood.

For more information about SEA LIFE Blackpool, please visit:

PCA Safety

For more than 15 years, PCA Safety has provided CDM Coordinator services to the construction industry, as required under the Construction Design and management regulations 2007. Within this time PCA Safety has worked on all the major projects for Merlin including the Olympics games sailing venue, Blackpool Tower refurbishment, the Chessington World of Adventure Zufari project and the New London Dungeon.

Working for SEA LIFE, PCA Safety has provided Merlin with expert advice on construction risk management and ensured good communication between all project parties. In addition, the company also compiled the final health and safety file for the operation of SEA LIFE.

Commenting on his involvement with SEA LIFE, Paul Crosby of PCA Safety, said:

“SEA LIFE is a complex project and in addition to the Blackpool site the Manchester site is the first new build SEA LIFE that I have been involved with.”

Paul added:

“At PCA Safety we pride ourselves on our ability to provide sensible health and safety coordination and advice.”

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Roma Publications

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