Jump to content
  TPR Home | Parks | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram 

NEWS: Loudoun Castle Theme Park to close


Recommended Posts

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 32
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am sad to see that this aprk is closing as in my opinion it had so much potential. This is especially compred to the ghetto fair looking M &D's. It had some good rides and needed some good investment which Henk seemingly had started. One criticism of this park was that they had strange opening times. One day that we went to the park it was opened from 10am to 4pm!!! Such a short time to get roud all the rides plus have lunch. I have a lot of young nephews and neices and they always enjoyed the park.

Yes Scotland is dictated to by the weatherbut we are hardy and like to have fun no matter what.

Shame again that it is closing. Will be missed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

At the end of the day the park clearly just wasn't making money. Every time I visited the park it was absolutely dead. So whilst it looks like the owner is making excuses for closing the park, if the park was profitable it would stay open. To be honest I wouldn't be surprised if it came out that more Scots visited Alton Towers than Loudoun Castle this year.

 

To me, the biggest thing going against the park was the location, Loudoun Castle is quite far out the way for the majority of the Scottish population. I know I'm not the biggest M&Ds fan but that location they have right next to the motorway really works in it's favour. Not to mention that it's very close to Glasgow.

 

One of the things that's occurred to me over the last few years is that Scotland has a very similar climate and population to a country like Denmark, which has some real kickass smallish parks which seem to be flourishing these days. Scotland for some reason can't even sustain one decent small park.

 

- Divv "Sad but true" Walsh

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah it is a strange thing that Denmark etc can sustain all these great wee parks and we cant in the UK. I really did like this park. Transport was probably a problem as there were no public transport links near enough to it. If there had been would it have made a change? It was quiet but the kids enjoyed it. Henk also ran Dreamland in Margate for a couple of years. Do you think that this is a trend for him? Who knows?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

At the end of the day the park clearly just wasn't making money. Every time I visited the park it was absolutely dead. So whilst it looks like the owner is making excuses for closing the park, if the park was profitable it would stay open. To be honest I wouldn't be surprised if it came out that more Scots visited Alton Towers than Loudoun Castle this year.

 

To me, the biggest thing going against the park was the location, Loudoun Castle is quite far out the way for the majority of the Scottish population. I know I'm not the biggest M&Ds fan but that location they have right next to the motorway really works in it's favour. Not to mention that it's very close to Glasgow.

 

One of the things that's occurred to me over the last few years is that Scotland has a very similar climate and population to a country like Denmark, which has some real kickass smallish parks which seem to be flourishing these days. Scotland for some reason can't even sustain one decent small park.

 

- Divv "Sad but true" Walsh

 

It was a nice little park, but it didn't really stand out or try to make itself different. The Danish parks such as Djurs or Farup have a wide variety of activities contained within them to keep people entertained for a day. Loudoun and M&Ds are not places which have pulling power to make them worth going to for more than a few hours (or minutes with the latter of those two places). I am interested to see how the Landmark park up at Carrbridge develops, as that comes across as if they are trying to do something a bit different to get families to spend a whole day out there. I couldn't see it developing into a Djurs or a Farup, but certainly somewhere that's more enjoyable than Loudoun or M&Ds could ever be.

 

Whenever I've been to Blackpool around the start of the Scottish school summer holidays, there's always plenty who've made the journey down from Scotland.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Goldrush was not open for long. I only got to ride it twice.

 

Last week the park were advertising free tickets for council workers and families, seems to me like a last try to get people in. I will miss Loudon and the great views of Ayrshire from the top of the Barnstormer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Only been there once but had a great day and the park was really nice.

 

I hope Twist and Shout finds a new home it will be such a shame to see it left to rot

Or worse, let it get torched by arsonists. Maybe when the park is levelled out, I think it might not be used as storage for used rides, like Old Indiana Fun Park.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am almost willing to bet money on the area being filled with little holiday lodges. Its the kind of countryside area that they like to build them in. Probably with biking, hiking or horse trails nearby. Land is a real premium in the UK and is worth many readies.

 

I think Divv nailed it though. The place always seemed dead. For alot of people it just wasnt worth the journey out there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use https://themeparkreview.com/forum/topic/116-terms-of-service-please-read/