Camelot - good news and bad

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Camelot - good news and bad

Postby EAS » 04 Apr 2009, 10:07

Cumberland News yesterday:

Story's Camelot park takeover may create jobs in Cumbria
By Chris Story

Last updated 08:26, Friday, 03 April 2009

Fred Story has revealed that his takeover of the troubled Camelot theme park could create jobs in Cumbria.

Plans: Carlisle businessman Fred Story bought the theme park this weekThe Carlisle construction magnate this week completed a multi-million pound deal to buy the Lancashire attraction.

But while the buyout means that the park – which had been in receivership since February – can reopen, that is a short-term measure, likely to be for three years. Beyond that, The Story Group wants to transform the land into a housing development.

Mr Story, the company’s owner and chief executive, believes the brownfield site, off the M6 at Charnock Richard, is best placed for a residential-led mixed-use scheme. He is poised to hold talks with Chorley council about its development potential.

Meantime, the group has leased the park to newly-formed Knights Leisure, securing 15 full-time and 150 seasonal jobs.

Former Carlisle United owner Mr Story said: “The decision to open the park was not an easy one. We are having to make a substantial investment in Knights Leisure for the relaunch.

"It is evident that unfortunately its financial performance can be no means guaranteed. This is a significant risk. The reopening of the park is, however, an interim measure until we secure planning permission for an alternative use.”

Mr Story has said the longer-term redevelopment of Camelot should create job opportunities in Cumbria and Lancashire.

Knights Leisure is led by Roy Page and Mark Leader, the former chief executive and operations directors of Prime Resorts, Camelot’s former owners.

Mr Page said he was delighted The Story Group had released cash. “We are putting all our energy into preparing the park for the new season,” he added. ... a_1_535969

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