Loudoun Castle Closes
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.
Taken from Evening Times
Kind of hard to be optimistic when parks close, Loudon being no exception, I do hope they find a good home for Twist 'n' Shout though.