Drayton Manor may enter administration
A Staffordshire theme park and zoo could be set for administration.
Drayton Manor, which is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year, has filed notice of its intent to appoint administrators.
In an email to staff the owners of the tourist attraction, which includes Thomas Land and is home to the Shockwave rollercoaster, have said it will continue to operate as normal.
The park's press office said that it was unable to comment on the matter at the moment.
The theme park has been operated by the Bryan family since it was founded by George and Vera Bryan in 1950.
The park says it is at a “very advanced stage” of securing “fresh investment” which would not result in any job losses.
It reopened to the public on July 4 after several months of enforced closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Nottingham-based Mellors Group, which took over Fantasy Island on the East Coast in 2016, was understood to have been positioning itself to acquire the Tamworth attraction and registered the company Drayton Manor Operations Ltd on July 13 but its current intentions have not been confirmed.
Drayton Manor, which reported a loss of £1.8 million in the year to February 2019, is currently open seven days a week and is operating as normal.
Earlier this year Drayton Manor was forced to close for 12 days due to severe flooding in the park in the aftermath of Storm Dennis in February when the main lake burst its banks, causing significant flooding.
An extensive clean-up operation involved more than 150 employees.
Just weeks after reopening it was forced to shut again due to the coronavirus crisis.
The park was shut for three months before its attractions that also include Stormforce 10, Apocalypse and Maelstrom rides and the 15-acre conservation zoo - home to more than 100 animals – were able to begin welcoming visitors again.
The attraction has introduced an innovative virtual queuing system in certain areas of the park, which allows guests to queue digitally via the Drayton Manor Park app.
Once they have joined a queue, riders can see how long they have left until their allocated ride time and receive a notification and boarding pass, which will be scanned before boarding the attraction when it’s their turn to ride.
Staff at the park are wearing full PPE, including face masks and shields and acrylic screens have been installed at customer serving points throughout the park, including guest services, retail and catering outlets.
Tickets are being sold through the Drayton Manor website – www.draytonmanor.co.uk – on a pre-booked basis.
It is offering discounts of up to 28 per cent off tickets this summer and has launched a new four for £90 ticket, which allows four people of any age to enter the park for £22.50 each.
The new ticket offer is available until Saturday, October 31.
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