A new interactive attraction is set to bring the beloved characters from The Gruffalo & Friends to a new home on Blackpool’s seafront this summer.
Merlin Entertainments, Magic Light Pictures, and Blackpool Council have announced that they are to join forces and create the world’s-first ‘The Gruffalo & Friends Clubhouse’ on the seafront at the popular Lancashire resort.
The fan-favourite characters from creators Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s books will be brought to life like never before.
Having been 18-months in the making, the brand-new £2.3 million attraction will bring together six of the best loved stories to create “an indoor play adventure like no other”.
According to the creators of the attraction, families will get to burst through the pages of some of their favourite stories and into a magical 3D world.
From The Gruffalo’s deep dark wood, to Princess Pearl’s castle in Zog, visitors will be taken on an “adventure of imagination, discovery, and play” as they join their favourite characters, with some of the exciting interactive play zones being inspired by The Gruffalo, The Gruffalo’s Child, Zog, The Snail and the Whale, Room on the Broom and The Highway Rat.
The brand-new attraction will include different play zones suitable for children under 10, with a toddler play area that’s specifically-designed for those under three.
“We are incredibly excited to bring some of the UK’s best loved children’s characters to Blackpool,” said Kate Shane – Regional Director for Merlin Entertainments.
“Blackpool is the UK’s number one family seaside resort and this latest partnership with a globally recognised brand will provide compelling new reasons for visitors to come to Blackpool.
“The Gruffalo and other characters from the world of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler will be amongst brilliant company alongside our already strong cluster of family attractions on the resort.”
Creators of the attraction say it’ll be “an indoor play adventure like no other” / Credit: Magic Light Pictures
She also said the attraction and the significant investment into the town “further supports Merlin’s strategic growth plans”, and will bring even more job opportunities and economic benefit to the local community and wider North West region.
The new Gruffalo & Friends Clubhouse is set to take shape next door to SEA LIFE Blackpool, and will join Merlin Entertainment’s seven other attractions in Blackpool, as part of the company’s plan to make the town a “destination for families of all ages from both the UK and abroad”
The attraction will open its doors in May 2023.
Featured Image – Magic Light Pictures
Wayne Rooney confirms he has had offers to take part in a boxing match
England and Manchester United legend Wayne Rooney has confirmed that he has indeed had talks and been offered the possibility of taking part in a boxing match at some point in the future.
While most people know him as one of the greatest British footballers of all time, some might also be aware that Rooney was indeed a bit of a boxer in his younger days and even fought at his local amateur club to a decent little pedigree — that’s according to Eddie Hearn, at least.
The Matchroom Sports promoter got rumours that Wazza might get in the ring circulating after his own appearance on Gary Neville’s Stick to Football, claiming that he’d had calls from the retired footballer himself trying to set something up and now the retired striker seems to have confirmed it.
Speaking with the panel of ex-pro pundits on The Overlap’s latest show, the 38-year-old was quizzed by Neville and his Monday Night Football co-host, Jamie Carragher as to whether there was any truth in it — to which he simply teased, “You never know”.
Wayne Rooney hasn't ruled out stepping into the boxing ring in the future ❌
Wayne Rooney confirms he has received offers for an exhibition boxing match.
Going on to explain the genuine discussions that have already taken place, Rooney said, “They’ve been in touch and have asked the question but at the minute I’m just focusing on getting back into management”.
When asked if it was an exhibition for charity or part of something else, he then went on to reveal that it isn’t just a case of one offer but multiple, in fact.
“There’s been a few and obviously that Misfits [Boxing] have been in [touch] and all of the news”, said United’s all-time leading goalscorer, but once again reiterated that his main focus is simply getting back on the touchline. Can’t lie, doesn’t really matter who he was fighting, we’d pay to see it.
Come on, we could hardly write this whole thing without mentioning that clip:
The Premier League icon insisted that he still loves boxing like his dad before him and that his “grandad still runs the gym in Crocky [Croxteth, Liverpool]” but making a prompt comeback as a manager is the first priority after being let go by Birmingham after just 83 days in charge.
As for who he’d faced up against, the likes of Logan and Jake Paul have both been banded about and given Misfits in the influencer and YouTube world — having been co-founded by KSI — who knows? All we know is that Wazza was a warrior on the pitch and we’re sure he’d be similar on the canvas.
You can watch Wayne Rooney’s full interview on Stick to Football down below:
Featured Images — The Overlap (via YouTube)/Sky Sports
People with an extremely rare birthday can get free pints in Manchester next week
People who are unfortunate – or this case, fortunate – enough to have the rarest birthday of them all can grab a free pint in Manchester next week.
You guessed it – Leap Day babies, this one’s for you.
It’s estimated that only around 4.1 million people worldwide were born on 29 February – which, of course, is also known as a Leap Day birthday – and if you just so happen to be one of those people here in Manchester, then you’ll probably want to get yourself down to Society next week to celebrate.
That’s because the popular street food hall and social hub in the heart of the city centre is commemorating the special day that only comes around every four years by giving away free pints next Thursday.
The catch, however, is that you have to have been born on 29 February to claim the freebie.
People with an extremely rare birthday can get free pints in Manchester next week / Credit: Society MCR
Society is known for having one of the city’s biggest craft beer collections, and will be handing out glasses of its house Vocation Pure Pilsner to all Leap Day babies who’ve missed out on years of birthday benefits.
So-called ‘leapers’ wanting to claim their complimentary cold one must be able to verify their birthday with a valid ID at the Society bar.
The deal will run all day from the moment Society opens until it closes… but, for one day only.
‘Leap Day’ babies need to head on down to Society to claim their complementary cold one / Credit: Vocation Manchester
If you’re the type to want to mark your birthday in a more lowkey way, then Society is an ideal place to head on down to.
Its relaxed dining and drinking set-up – with the ability to order food from five independent kitchens, and pick a pint from one of Vocation Brewery‘s 36 ever-changing tap beers from the comfort of your own table – makes it a great destination to celebrate your special day with groups either big or small.