Royal Leamington Spa has won a West Midlands ‘beauty contest’ to land its’ very own official board game, the MONOPOLY: Royal Leamington Spa Edition.
The Regency town sprang from a tiny village to a bustling tourist magnet after mineral springs were discovered in the 19th century, and it rapidly became a favourite tourist retreat amongst Royals.
Now in this Royal celebration Coronation year, Royal Leamington Spa has come out top in a ten-strong region wide shortlist to secure its own MONOPOLY board beating - amongst others - Warwick, Solihull, Gloucester and Telford.
Royal Leamington Spa’s celebrated Royal Pump Rooms are expected to be tipped to land on either the game’s top ranked square ‘Mayfair’ – or the famous MONOPOLY ‘Water Works’ location. But the public will get to decide and shape the board, with a consultation period lasting two weeks.
Bosses at London-based games company Winning Moves UK, who are producing the MONOPOLY: Royal Leamington Spa Edition game under licensing from global branded entertainment leader Hasbro, say a variety of factors were used in selecting Royal Leamington Spa from the shortlist. These include: ‘Pride’ ; ‘Beauty’ ; ‘Sense of Community’ ; Distinct Heritage.
And the news is set to prove a double regal boost for the Royal town - in this, King Charles III’s celebration Coronation year.
Ella Gibbs, Custom Games Executive at Winning Moves UK, says:
“Royal Leamington Spa has a plethora of leading landmarks to fill the board. We expect to be wonderfully spoiled for choice putting this game together.”
The Mayor of Royal Leamington Spa, Cllr Nick Wilkins, says:
“Royal Leamington Spa is steeped with history, having been made “Royal” by Her Majesty Queen Victoria in 1838. Our town is famous for its fabulous Regency architecture and outstanding parks. The Royal Pump Rooms was a centre for its mineral springs, bringing people far and wide to take its waters. It became a fashionable watering place in late Georgian England and is still a building of beauty today.
“I’m delighted with the national recognition MONOPOLY has bestowed on us, with us beating off other very worthy towns. Putting the town, I proudly serve, Royal Leamington Spa, squarely on the Monopoly map!”
Councillor Mini Kaur Mangat, Chair of Warwick District Council, says:
“It’s really exciting that Royal Leamington Spa has been selected as a location for the famous game of Monopoly. I very much hope that the new edition not only captures our rich history, beautiful parks and buildings, but also the highly creative, innovative and culturally diverse town we see today.”
Stephanie Kerr, Executive Director - BID Leamington says:
“It is fabulous that our town will be celebrated in such a high-profile game in this Coronation year. It is also fitting that we are home to incredible games development talent and innovative board game cafés such as ‘The Dice Box’. We are really looking forward to seeing the final board take shape following the nomination of squares.”
The new board will see Royal Leamington Spa landmarks such as the Royal Pump Rooms, Jephson Gardens, the Town Hall and the Royal Spa Centre replacing the likes of ‘Mayfair’ and ‘Park Lane’ from the classic MONOPOLY London original. The Chance and Community Chest cards are being customised too.
The sets will be themed in genres. From heritage to tourism, the arts to business, shopping to leisure – and lots more, including a ‘travel’ set made up of the four MONOPOLY train stations. That’s because Royal Leamington Spa doesn’t have a multitude of main line stations to select from like in the classic MONOPOLY original.
There may even be a ‘silicon’ set in recognition of the enormous games industry which has established, matured and is thriving in the town. Royal Leamington’s standing and reputation in the video games market is such that an estimated ten per cent of the nation’s buoyant games industry is based in just one small cluster of the town.
There is a famous card in the original MONOPOLY version which says: ‘You have won Second Prize in a Beauty Contest’. Well Royal Leamington Spa has now very much won FIRST prize!
The game will hit the shops this October in time for Christmas 2023. But before it goes into production, the public is being invited to suggest Royal Leamington Spa landmarks and cards to feature in the game, by either of these two ways:
- By email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Via the official Royal Leamington Spa MONOPOLY Facebook page.
Suggestions are invited from 10.30am tomorrow until 23.59pm on 23 March 2023.