Blue Abyss

World's largest, and deepest, research, training and development pool. For use by divers, marine researchers and aerospace communities

We did it!

On 22nd Jul 2015 we successfully raised £13,578 with 92 supporters in 42 days

Project aim

To create the world's largest and deepest aquatic, human physiology and Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV) research, diver training,  and neutral buoyancy development pool.  This is about Pushing the Boundaries for humans, in water and in space.


About the project

Imagine having the opportunity to help create the world’s first commercial astronaut training facility.  A development large enough to cater for divers, human physiology researchers and the aerospace industry as well, often at the same time!  Just wonder at being able to say you were part of making the world’s biggest indoor aquatic research, training and development facility a reality.  Everyone behind this project wants to push the boundaries of what human beings can achieve; here on earth in our marine environment and beyond our own planet, in space.  Join us in that endeavour and leave a legacy our children will continue to benefit from!

The aim is to build the world’s largest and deepest multi-level, indoor research, training and development pool.  This will be the premier marine and space research facility in Europe.  Leading recreational dive agencies, global commercial diving organisations and researchers from human physiology, human spaceflight and general aerospace have all expressed interest in this exciting project.

We plan to create a state-of-the-art space; with hyperbaric chambers, a wide range of commercial diving and even micro-gravity facilities.  The pool alone will be 50 m long, 40 m wide and have a maximum depth of 50 m.  Details of the various depths within the complex are shown on the plan available on the website.  The provision of a large ‘table-like’ area within the main pool allows for a variety of uses, with tie-down points enabling the inclusion of mock wrecks, a simulated cave system, etc.  Thanks to full lighting control throughout the pool, simulated darkness can be achieved during the daytime or daylight created during the hours of darkness.  The pool is even big enough to allow the use of a full-size rigid inflatable boat (RIB) with an electric outboard to provide additional training opportunities.

Recreational divers can choose from a wide range of development and skills courses and the facility will cater for complete beginners to advanced divers and is designed to be used by those with physical disabilities which may make other sports more difficult to pursue.  There will be at least two hyperbaric chambers on site to provide onsite safety and to be used for research purposes.

From the outset it is intended that the venue will also help educate our children as to the richness of our marine planet and equip them with the skills to explore it and even see a future career as a diver, marine explorer or perhaps, one day as an astronaut?  We are working on creating a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), project from the plans that have helped create Blue Abyss.

Creation of this facility will see the emergence of the world’s first commercial ‘Space Environment’ simulation facility for aerospace research and development including potential to train humans for spaceflight.  Blue Abyss is destined to be a world-class research centre for a multitude of space disciplines.  Currently, for example, most neutral buoyancy facilities are operated by national space agencies, such as NASA, Roscosmos and the European Space Agency (ESA).  A research and development facility that complements existing astronaut training centres offers huge opportunities, given the anticipated development of space tourism for example.  Ancillary courses that provide an insight into what astronauts go through would be a logical extension of the facility’s wider commercial offerings.

The overall complex will also feature six exceptionally well-equipped training rooms. High definition video is available, with feeds from the pool allowing all training and exercises to be recorded for subsequent evaluation by trainees and staff.  A 120-bed hotel, 150-seat amphitheatre-style lecture theatre and free on-site parking or free pick-up from local railway stations completes the planned development.  Access to a European ferry port is approximately 25 minutes away, and there are five airports within 2.5 hours’ driving time.

Booking a session in the pool, training rooms and lecture theatre will only be available by booking via the website in advance.  Commercial clients will similarly reserve usage slots in advance and we have already been contacted by various agencies.

Land and construction: We are in final discussions to secure a key plot of land in Essex at an appropriate location.  Indicative planning permission has already been granted for the site, but a final deep ground survey is needed to determine the exact siting of the pool complex.

Additional finance:  Plans for this facility have already generated huge interest among an array of commercial and research organisations, as well as the diving community at large – from free divers, scuba and technical to a number of international commercial diving and even aerospace companies.  To take advantage of this interest the management team is looking to raise £150,000 to cover ongoing negotiations to finalise the architectural and constructions plans, plus the ground survey of the final proposed site and drafting of relevant legal agreements.  Additional UK and European grants will also be sought, but we need your support to keep this process moving.

Major investment: Talks are already under way with a number of interested backers regarding funding the facility.  The management team is aiming to conclude these discussions within 16 weeks.

What do you get for your contribution?  That depends; rewards vary from a limited diving/space ‘patch’, cartoon print or T-shirt through to corporate days, training courses or experiences and membership packages.  Gaining wider public support will help tremendously.  By sharing our vision, you can help make it a reality more quickly.

The team: The key senior management team is already in place, backed by committed architects, lawyers, accountants, construction engineers and project managers. For further information, please contact the Managing Director, John Vickers, on

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