The sudden closure of the National Diving & Activity Centre in Gloucestershire took divers by surprise, particularly those who valued it as one of the UK’s few deep inland dive-sites – but it seems there is little chance of normal service being resumed.
The closure was announced on 18 February, as reported on Divernet, but the exact reasons for it were left unexplained.
According to Gloucestershire Live, the flooded limestone quarry at Tidenham near Chepstow has already been bought by a “secretive company”, making it unlikely that it will be reopened to the public.
Representatives of the mystery firm have briefed Forest of Dean district councillors that it plans to sink £150 million into a project to research and develop the use of pods for underwater living. Depths of 80m are attainable at the location, also known as Dayhouse Lake.
“What they want to do is turn the quarry into this underwater scientific campus which they reckon will employ 100 people,” a councillor told the news service. “They didn’t tell us their company name – we were just told it was for a deep engineering facility.
“Councillors are all for it because it will put the Forest on the map but the company is very selective about the information they are giving out.” For information on other inland dive-sites in England and Wales, see the Inland Sites Diver’s Guide 2021 on Divernet.