A NEW outdoor activity centre is being launched at Turnberry on Saturday as the five-star Ayrshire resort looks to broaden its appeal as a family destination.

Turnberry Adventures is a joint venture between hotel operator Starwood Hotels & Resorts and Maximillion Events, the Edinburgh-based corporate events specialist.

Its arrival marks a radical upgrade of the resort's existing outdoor activities, with the investment geared towards attracting more families and enhancing the experience for corporate and leisure guests.

A host of new attractions have been introduced to cater for children, ranging from water zorbing and GPS treasure hunts and off-road quad biking.

Investment has been made in landscaping the grounds and adding infrastructure to provide a more welcoming experience for guests taking part in archery and clay pigeon shooting.

The joint venture builds on a long-running relationship between the two organisations, which has seen the events specialist provide activities from corporate customers when demand has exceeded the hotel's ability to supply.

Neither party revealed the project's price tag, though it is thought investment has roughly been made on a 50-50 basis.

With Turnberry known all over the world as a golfing destination – its links are on The Open rota – general manager Jordi Tarrida said a priority was to broaden the resort's appeal.

It began making moves to attract more families two years ago with self-catering accommodation. That was followed by the introduction of creche facilities, more family rooms and the launch this year of the Turnberry Performance Academy, a facility giving golfers of all levels the chance to improve their game.

Mr Tarrida said: "All this is geared towards opening [Turnberry] up from [being] a purely golfing resort, to a resort which caters [for] golf but other things as well.

"The golf business is very successful and Turnberry is known all over the world, but this mainly only covers May to September. When we move away from the summer the golf is less of an incentive for people to come and stay with us.

"If we have interesting and quality experiences for families it will take care of all the weekends of the year, the major school holiday period, and will add an interesting new dimension to our hotel offering."

Freelance staff will be taken on amid "peaks and troughs" in demand.

Maximillion, which runs Mad Max Adventures at Kirknewton, just outside Edinburgh, has been handed a contract to manage the facility. It has employed a manager who will live on site.

Managing director, John Strachan, said the project was part of a plan to diversify activities. He said: "One of the things we have certainly suffered from as a result of the recession is an absolute drop in the type of business we had been doing, which in the past was exclusively with the corporate market, predominantly with financial services.

"This fits with a general strategy we have had over the last three or four years to diversify our revenue streams into complementary sectors which are not predicated on the corporate side."