Camelot Theme Park to re-open in May

Michael Hunt

Camelot Theme Park has been saved from receivership following the purchase of the site by The Story Group, based in Carlisle, which has leased the park to the newly-formed leisure group Knights Leisure.

The Chorley-based park will now re-open on 23 May this year.

The lease will enable the park to resume its operations after going into receivership in February.

Fred Story, owner and chief executive of The Story Group, said he believed the brownfield site was ideally placed for a residential mixed use development and would be entering into a dialogue with Chorley council to agree the development potential of the site.

Knights Leisure, meanwhile, led by Roy Page, former chief executive of Camelot's previous owner, Prime Resorts, has already begun preparations for the new season.

He said: "Weeks of uncertainty have come to an end and, whilst I appreciate that the site's longer term future is likely to include major mixed use redevelopment, we are now concentrating on putting all our energy into preparing the park and rides for the new season."

Work has already begun on recruiting experienced senior managers, many of whom worked for Prime Resorts at Camelot previously, bringing invaluable experience to Knights Leisure.

In addition to creating full-time jobs, up to 150 seasonal posts will be created by Knights Leisure. Recruitment for these jobs will begin immediately.

Les Ross, one of the joint receivers at Grant Thornton, who negotiated the deal, said: "Securing the sale of Camelot Theme Park is a great result, particularly in the current economic climate.

"This deal has secured more than 150 jobs, both full-time and seasonal, in the short term while the new owners submit a planning application for an alternative use for the site.

"It comes only weeks after the sale of the adjacent Park Hall Hotel, which saved a further 80 jobs.

"This is not only a significant announcement for staff but also for the local economy as well."

Bury-based Lavender Hotels Group bought Camelot's 140-room Park Hall Hotel earlier this month.

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