Leisure, Sport and Tourism


The Leisure, Sport and Tourism sector has faced a raft of challenges as a result of the economic downturn. Visitor numbers have drastically reduced in line with disappearing disposable incomes and the situation has been further hindered by the unpredictable weather over recent years.

Many businesses in the sector look to diversification to help sustain their future. RPS has supported numerous developers, owners and operators as they look to expand their attractions to generate additional income.

RPS is well established and respected in the industry for delivering on complex and regulated developments for holiday parks, hotels and alternative accommodation, cinemas, restaurants, amusement parks, casino operators, seaside resort regeneration, and for the development of tourism in Green Belt areas.

Our services include:


Building Services Engineering

Civil & Structural Engineering


Environmental Assessment & Management

Landscape Architecture & Management

Planning & Consents

Project Communications & Stakeholder Engagement

Transport & Infrastructure.

Lightwater Valley, Ripon

Case Studies


AirKix, Manchester AirKix, Manchester

Learning from our first AirKix project in Milton Keynes, RPS designed a new-build, four-storey, 25m tall structure and its foundations to house an American flat pack indoor wind tunnel.

The development includes a first floor viewing gallery, conference room, ground floor reception area, staff offices, welfare facilities, café and bar.

Our planners worked closely with the Local Authority to ensure a decision was achieved within eight weeks. The positive result was further helped by RPS’ PPS6 Leisure Assessment which supported the application.

The striking envelope design incorporated pre-manufactured components which minimised construction time and costs for the client. The foundations are 5m wide deep pit, housing the lower turning vanes and associated equipment. Above ground the skin of the structure is steel sheets welded on site.

Construction time was further optimised by partially assembling the Return Air Towers and arranging the decks (supplied in sections) adjacent to the building.

Innovation was continued through the heating and cooling which is provided by an air source heat pump, recovering waste heat & re-using it in the back-of-house areas.

Belgrade Plaza

Belgrade Plaza, Birmingham Belgrade Plaza, Birmingham


RPS provided designs for a mixed-use development consisting of two multi-storey buildings to provide two hotels, casino, retail and catering units, and residential apartments.

RPS are the clients appointed Building Services Engineers and are responsible for liaison with the public utilities for infrastructure services, together with the preparation of performance specifications.

We are also continuing as part of the clients team during the construction period.

The development also includes a 1100 space multi-storey car park and formation of new public squares, mall and service areas, and refurbishment of the existing public square.

Lightwater Valley

Lightwater Valley, Ripon Lightwater Valley, Ripon

RPS has secured long-awaited approval for a development of 106 holiday lodges to complement one of the UK’s largest theme parks.

It had not been an easy approval for client Lightwater Valley Attractions Ltd; a previous proposal had been rejected by Harrogate Borough Council and a subsequent appeal turned down. RPS was appointed to examine and address the previous reasons for refusal and prepared and submitted revised plans last year.

Some parts of the site had been considered unsuitable for lodge development by the Inspector and we reconfigured the layout to address this. The revised submission was bolstered by an extensive focus on consultation with local authorities and statutory consultees, and a public exhibition, to ensure local interests and concerns were answered. We also made representations to the Borough’s Core Strategy to secure a more favourable policy for rural tourism. RPS secured a unanimous vote in favour of this major tourism development.

Paultons Park

Paultons Park, Hampshire Paultons Park, Hampshire

RPS has secured a series of consents for the south of England’s most successful theme park, Paultons Park, located in the New Forest National Park.

RPS secured a lawful development certificate for the entire theme park, which regularised the existence of the park, which had been operating since 1983. Most of the rides were also lawful so no planning applications were needed.

RPS also secured planning permission for two major rides, the Cobra and Edge rides, which are two of Paultons Park’s most popular attractions.

Planning permission was secured, following negotiation with the National Park Authority’s Environmental Health Officer, and significant consultation with the local community.

RPS also advised Paultons Park on the development of Peppa Pig World, which opened in 2011, and on the development of new park entrance buildings, containing admissions, restaurant, retail and offices.

Premier Inn

Premier Inn, London Premier Inn, London

Whitebread Group

RPS project led the planning application and co-ordinated the team to ensure planning permission was obtained for a 270 bed Premier Inn hotel in London.

RPS co-ordinated the application and helped ensure that the application met the aspirations of a challenging Design Review Panel.

The application was also designed on a retail ‘plinth’ and RPS ensured that the application complemented the existing retail units and did not compromise the overall building in terms of impact and design.

The Edge Development

The Edge Development, Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach The Edge Development, Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach

RPS secured planning permission for a major new £35m commercial leisure development on Great Yarmouth seafront called ‘The Edge’. The development will include a new-style casino (the only one of the Government’s new ‘large’ casinos to be located at a British seaside resort), multiplex cinema, branded hotel, restaurants and over 800 car parking spaces.

The project is expected to play a major role in the regeneration of this seaside resort, and will be the biggest single investment in Great Yarmouth’s ‘Golden Mile’ for a generation.

In addition to providing planning, transport and environmental consultancy for the planning application, RPS organised a large public consultation exercise and advised on a successful application for one of only eight large casino licenses that are being issued in the United Kingdom following the 2005 Gambling Act.

RPS has acted for a number of casino operators, including Aspers Casinos, Ladbrokes, Caesars Entertainment, Hilton, Ameristar Casinos. We also have extensive experience of seaside regeneration projects, recently working in Blackpool, Margate, Hayling Island, Exmouth, Lowestoft, Eastbourne, Hastings and Weymouth.”

The Penny Brook Hotel

Dolphin Square, Weston-Super-Mare The Penny Brook Hotel, Stratford


Union Hanover Securities

This project is part of the redevelopment of the Stratford district to provide destination accommodation to compliment other mixed uses in the area. We are acting as cost consultants for our client for the duration of the development.

Key challenges for this project include:

Close monitoring of the concept design and advising on options to achieve optimal costs and best value

Advising team of overall construction cost plan at pre-planning stage. Controlling estimate into pre-construction period

Provision of full audit of aparthotel fit out to validate requirements for the scheme

Providing advice on best way to procure the works in a buoyant tender market.