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NDAC to become ‘research facility’


National Diving and Activity Centre - NDAC

The UK diving fraternity were dismayed by the news that the popular National Diving and Activity Centre (NDAC) in Tidenham had closed at the end of February, and now it seems the quarry will have a new life as an underwater research facility.

As reported in Scuba Diver, NDAC closed its doors with no real explanation given by the then-owners. Now news reports have stated that councillors in the Forest of Dean were recently given a confidential briefing about the potential future of the site, and were told that it would be used for research and development for equipment to enable people to live deep underwater.

The company in question has already bought the quarry, and is understood to be set to invest £150m into the project, which would employ 100 people.

A councillor told Gloucestershire Live: “They didn't tell us their company name. We were just told it was for a deep engineering facility. They are also understood to be talking to Cornwall Council.

“They are doing research and development for equipment for people to be able to live in pods quite deep under the water.

“That's all the information councillors were given. 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.”

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Simon Barton
Simon Barton
1 year ago

If they want it to be a research facility. That is fine, they will only be using the deep end(80m) of the quarry.
It could still be left for recreational divers to use the shallower end (30m) at weekends. If they are worried about other research facilities spying on thier research then easy just sink industrial netting to stop anyone going to thier research area.
Most frustrating of all is that they are refusing to give the company name to anyone including the council. To me this seems to be a compulsory purchase that has been backed by the british central government, as the closure and sale has been so sudden. Even the employees were only given a weeks notice.

robert pembroke
robert pembroke
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon Barton

These sites cannot possibly let anyone else in the area. It will be fully locked down, fences and cctv etc. placing huge nets in the water to keep divers away will never happen and is not practical. There are plenty more dive sites in the UK.

Simon Barton
Simon Barton
1 year ago

Other dive sites are too far away for a lot of people who was using this site regularly. The closure and sale was as stated very sudden.
What you also need to know is that in the months running up to the sale a lot of money was spent on improvements to the site. Several thousands of pounds were spent on new compressors, just a few weeks prior to sale. Even the local council were not informed of the purpose of the sale and planning was not informed of the purchaser.
After some research by myself I found out that this site was only bought suddenly and compulsory as it is the deepest inland water site in the UK. The research is into underwater habitats or so the research my has informed me.
Also remember that Ross Kemp did his training there with Neil Brock. How far do you need to go to do technical diver training, more than the recreational 50M that majority of divers do actually do.

Also just think about it this way:
Keeping the site open to the public on weekends bring them income that they would not have otherwise. Security is already set up, netting was just one idea, there are plenty more.

Simon Barton
Simon Barton
11 months ago

I just found this on the web after looking for alternative dive sites.

This link is to the NDAC website and hopefully they will open it for diving:

This quarry is not far from Chepstow race course, so it has a good road (A466) going past the entrance.

10 months ago

Hope its not 5 to a pod with a games controller….


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Mark Evans
Scuba Diver's Editorial Director Mark Evans has been in the diving industry for nearly 25 years, and has been diving since he was just 12 years old. nearly 40-odd years later and he is still addicted to the underwater world.
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