NEWS: Loudoun Castle Theme Park to close

Scottish park "not economically viable"
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NEWS: Loudoun Castle Theme Park to close

Postby snoflake15 » Fri Oct 01, 2010 4:56 am

Scotland already had a poor selection of parks and it has just got worse! :(

http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/editor-s-picks/end-of-the-ride-for-theme-park-1.1058668

"One of Scotland’s most popular theme parks has been forced to close its doors after a cash crisis.

The Loudoun Castle theme park, which boasted 25 fairground rides, has shut permanently after the owner said the park “was no longer economically viable”.

The closure will see 11 full-time and more 100 seasonal part-time posts axed.

Dutch owner Henk Bembom blamed a looming VAT increase, bad weather and the rise in publicly-funded tourist attractions for his decision to shut the 600-acre park, near Galston, Ayrshire,

The theme park, which has been owned by Mr Bembom for seven years, is popular with families from all over the West of Scotland and beyond.

It has the UKs biggest portable rollercoaster among its many rides, an animal park for younger visitors, restaurants and cafes as well as daily diving shows.

Last year the Galston site played host to Europe’s biggest celebration of 80s music – Retrofest, after a late switch from Glasgow.

Acts such as ABC, Gloria Gaynor, Midge Ure and Showaddywaddy played to a crowd of thousands in August.

But even that left the owners out of pocket after the organisers went to the wall.

Mr Bembom, 52, said today: “I would like to thank all our staff for their unwavering loyalty and support over the years.”

The Dutchman – who reportedly invested £9 million at Loudoun – told staff and the local authority the site was shutting down earlier this week.

Council bosses have held a meeting with Mr Bembom in an attempt to come up with a rescue package to save some, or all of the threatened jobs."

The council’s planning chief, Alan Neish, said: “Countless families have enjoyed this major attraction over the years and we are heartened to learn that Mr Bembom plans to take the park in a new direction.

“We look forward to discussing his new proposals in the near future.”

A spokesman for VisitScotland said the closure was “disappointing”.

But East Ayrshire Council council claimed Mr Bembom was not pulling out and that luxury holiday lodges could now be built in the grounds of the country park.

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Re: NEWS: Loudoun Castle Theme Park to close

Postby Fallen Heretic » Fri Oct 01, 2010 5:10 am

So now M&Ds will genuinely be Scotlands Theme Park. I hope Twist n Shout finds a good home.

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Re: NEWS: Loudoun Castle Theme Park to close

Postby Divv3k » Fri Oct 01, 2010 5:11 am

This is a real shame. Loudoun was the only decent park in Scotland.

Hopefully something can be done to save the park, or at the very least hopefully those good rides can find new homes!

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Re: NEWS: Loudoun Castle Theme Park to close

Postby snoflake15 » Fri Oct 01, 2010 8:15 am

I suppose I can't complain given it's almost on my doorstep and I've only been there once. :oops:

It was way nicer than M & D's which I also tend to avoid.

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Re: NEWS: Loudoun Castle Theme Park to close

Postby beatle11 » Fri Oct 01, 2010 1:01 pm

Sad to see a park close. Especially when there's really not much else around.
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Re: NEWS: Loudoun Castle Theme Park to close

Postby Shavethewhales » Fri Oct 01, 2010 1:39 pm

Ugh, yet another hit for suppliers. This industry has been bleeding for too long.

It's especially tragic because it looked like Loudoun was really starting to shape up over the last few years. Last I saw they had added a refurbished S&S tower that shot out of a little barn. It looked pretty nice.

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Re: NEWS: Loudoun Castle Theme Park to close

Postby bellhop96 » Fri Oct 01, 2010 2:16 pm

This upsets me. Loudon Castle is my local park and even though it is not amazing it is the best we have in Scotland. They have only just opened the new Goldrush coaster too! :wtf:
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Re: NEWS: Loudoun Castle Theme Park to close

Postby DandAyr » Fri Oct 01, 2010 3:43 pm

Really sad news for the Ayrshire and the surrounding area. Took the family there the other week (photo TR to be posted) and had a great day out (despite Goldrush).

Reading one of the other newspaper articles sounds like owner is looking for excuses to justify closure. This is what he is quoted saying on this Daily Record link http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sunday-mail/2010/10/01/owner-blames-free-attractions-and-vat-rise-as-loudoun-castle-theme-park-closes-86908-22600646/

He said: "The combination of bad weather, increased VAT and the imminent opening of new publicly-funded visitor attractions, including the £21million Burns Centre and the £85million transport museum in Glasgow, which will be free of charge, has created a situation where Loudoun Castle Theme Park is no longer economically viable.


I'm sorry Henk but the Burns Centre telling the story of the national Poet is not the same market as a theme park. The transport museum is a replacement building - the current museum is free and has been for all my long life time, so again a weak excuse blaming others. Sounds like just want rid of the rides to use the land for other purposes.

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Re: NEWS: Loudoun Castle Theme Park to close

Postby Six Flags Enthuseast » Fri Oct 01, 2010 7:25 pm

This is sad to hear, especially since it has a nice collection of rides and attractions. :(
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Re: NEWS: Loudoun Castle Theme Park to close

Postby thrillerman1 » Fri Oct 01, 2010 11:46 pm

Oh no what will happen to Divv and Scottish Steve?!

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