London Aquarium to become Sea Life Centre

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The London Aquarium is to become the flagship of the Sea Life Centre Chain.

The Aquarium at County Hall on the South Bank was bought last week by Merlin Entertainments; owners of the London Eye, Legoland and Madame Tussauds.

Merlin have also invested in a 35 year lease for the building and plan to invest 5 million in developing the displays and the overall infrastructure to make the aquarium more interactive and a fun learning experience for visitors of all ages.

The group also hope to use the aquarium as a platform for their breeding and research programmes which have included a seahorse behaviour programme, a turtle rescue centre in the Mediterranean and a series of influential ~Save Our Seas campaigns.

Currently the 28 Sea Life Centres and Sanctuaries attract 6 million visitors a year and are the number one visitor aquarium brand and the number two overall visitor attraction.

Glenn Earlam, Managing Director of Merlin Sea Life brand said: The team and I are delighted to add the London Aquarium to our portfolio of marine attractions.

It is a wonderful site " big enough to be awe inspiring, but also very accessible for visitors.There is no one better qualified than Merlin to operate marine attractions; and when we add the Sea Life magic we believe it will once again quickly become a must see attraction for both Londoners, and those visiting the Capital.

The London Aquarium currently receives 750,000 visitors a year but will experience some competition in 3 years time when London Zoo s Biota Aquarium opens (see UK's Biota super aquarium just three years away).