Drayton Manor theme park rescued after falling into administration

Drayton Manor theme park has been sold after going into administration (Picture: SWNS)

Drayton Manor theme park has been sold after falling into administration.

The popular park in Tamworth, Staffordshire, has been run by three generations of the Bryan family since opening its doors in 1950. Now it will have new owners for the first time in its 70-year history after administrators were appointed.

It has now been sold to the UK arm of Looping Parks, a French leisure giant which runs 15 parks across Europe.

The group already runs West Midlands Safari Park and Pleasurewood Hills near Lowestoft in the UK.

The Splash Canyon Ride at Drayton Manor Theme Park, Near Tamworth, Staffs (Picture: SWNS)

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The deal is set to secure the long-term future of the theme park and its almost 600 employees, whose jobs will be protected, the BBC reports.

But administrators warned said business – which temporarily shut its doors after Storm Dennis hit Britain in February ­- has been weighed down by ‘exceptionally challenging trading conditions’.

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Mike Denny, joint administrator and PwC director, said: ‘In February, Storm Dennis forced the park to close unexpectedly, whilst its planned reopening in March was delayed due to Covid-19. These factors combined exacerbated cash flow pressures on the group.

‘The purchasers will be working with the existing management team to continue to grow and develop the business, we wish them every future success.’

Laurent Bruloy, chief executive officer of the Looping Group, praised the Bryan family for making the Drayton Manor one of the ‘most beautiful’ theme parks in the UK.

An aerial view of Drayton Manor theme park near Tamworth, Staffordshire (Picture: SWNS)

He said: ‘We are thrilled and proud to welcome Drayton Manor Park and its talented team to our group.

‘I would like to commend the Bryan family who has, over three generations, been developing the park and made it one of the most beautiful references of our industry in the UK.

‘We aim to continue the story and support Drayton Manor’s development with the same entrepreneurial DNA and values that we share whilst keeping the strong local anchorage of the resort.’

William Bryan, managing director at Drayton Manor Park, said: ‘For us, finding a buyer who would protect jobs was key, as was finding one who would continue to operate and develop the Drayton Manor Park our guests know and love.

Administrators said Drayton Manor theme park was was weighed down by ‘exceptionally challenging trading conditions’ (Picture: SWNS)

‘Looping Group’s commitment towards a very ambitious investment plan and its pledge to reinvest profits primarily back into the park, made it a natural and very appealing fit for us.

‘The Bryan family was always committed to making the park one of the UK’s leading attractions and, under the Looping Group, we look forward to develop the family-friendly offering for many years to come.’

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