A tourist attraction in Worcestershire has welcomed almost 4,000 visitors through its doors since it opened in June.
Aztec Adventure's Aqua Park is the first of its kind in the county and the visitor numbers are proving promising for the year ahead.
In 2017, Aztec Adventure Centre received a grant from LEADER, part of the Rural Development Programme for England delivered locally by Worcestershire County Council and the Worcestershire Local Action Group on behalf of Defra.
Aztec Adventure Ltd was set up in 2014 to operate watersports and land based activities at the former Outdoor Education Centre at Upton Warren.
The Aztec Adventure Centre at Upton Warren comprises a 20 acre lake plus 20 acres of surrounding land and provides a wide range of high quality watersports including sailing, windsurfing, kayaking, canoeing, raft building as well as hire of pedalos, stand up paddle boards and kayaks.
There is also a climbing wall, high and low level rope courses, a tunnel complex, archery, bushcraft plus team building challenges and events for corporate groups.
Jim Spence, HR Manager at Aztec, said: "The opportunity to bid for LEADER funding for a new initiative was both very welcome and timely as Aztec Adventure continued its journey towards sustainability and profitability."
A total of £14,397 was awarded by LEADER towards the cost of purchasing an Aqua Park. This grant was matched by £21,596 private funding towards the overall cost.
The Aqua Park opened in June 2017 and is a series of inflatable modules joined together and anchored to the lake to create an inflatable obstacle course. There are few outdoor aqua parks in the UK. Prior to this one, the nearest to Worcestershire was more than an hour's drive away.
The launch of the Aqua Park has created additional jobs with 10 lifeguard posts and six Aztec crew posts on a part time seasonal basis. All those appointed are young people living in Worcestershire or returning from college or university for the summer.
Jim Spence added: "If you're a business thinking of applying for a LEADER grant, go for it.
"The paperwork may appear daunting at first but the excellent staff from LEADER guides you through every stage of the process and are always available to provide support and assistance. The process also enhances the development of your proposal as the procedure helps you focus on potential challenges and develop solution which make your project more viable."
Aztec Director Craig Spence said: "The LEADER programme was just what we needed as a small business seeking to establish ourselves on a sustainable basis. It provided funding at a critical time and has helped move Aztec Adventure on to the next level in our journey. We are so grateful."
For more information about LEADER, visit http://www.worcestershire.gov.uk/leader