Plans for a Christian theme park with rides snaking around a tropical Garden of Eden, a Garden of Gethsemane and a tree-lined lake with a Noah’s Ark water feature are gaining momentum.
The £144m Ark Alive project is the brainchild of committed Christian Andrea Webster, who is on the brink of buying an 80ha brownfield site in north-west Yorkshire, but is keeping the location secret until the sale is agreed.
“Horticulture will form a crucial part and we aim to recreate a tropical paradise-like Garden of Eden,” said Webster, a former accountant.
“There will be a Garden of Gethsemane and educational elements on planting to teach the parable of seed sowing. I have felt for some time that Bible stories are not taught enough.”
She hopes that one million Christians will each donate £144. To date, she has spent £100,000 of her own money on scoping studies and sketch plans by a London architect, which worked on Castleford shopping centre and Butlins in Skegness.
A detailed planning application is being drawn up for submission later this year. Biblical attractions planned include a Jonah’s Whale ride and a virtual-reality flight through Egypt.
Webster predicted that building would take around two years. She aims to add a landscape architect to the design team.
She added: “Many people have pledged cash donations and it’s like an avalanche effect: people are watching each other to see if it’s a goer. Some people say it will never go forward, but many more say that they will support it if they think it will definitely happen.”
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