£2m boost for leisure park
By David LennardTHE north Suffolk economy has been given a huge boost after the new owners of Pleasurewood Hills announced a £2million investment.The park, situated just off the A12 north of Lowestoft, is one of the region's most popular tourist attractions and was bought for an undisclosed sum by European-based company Grevin and Cie last year.
By David Lennard
THE north Suffolk economy has been given a huge boost after the new owners of Pleasurewood Hills announced a £2million investment.
The park, situated just off the A12 north of Lowestoft, is one of the region's most popular tourist attractions and was bought for an undisclosed sum by European-based company Grevin and Cie last year.
The company said it intended to run the park, its first British attraction, with a “local” theme and wanted to make the most of its coastal location.
Refurbishment work has already begun and when the park opens for the 2005 season on March 25, the first part of the £2m redevelopment will be complete.
The current redevelopment programme is the beginning of a five-year project to transform the family park, which attracted 250,000 visitors last year and had a turnover of £3.2m.
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The most obvious change that visitors will notice is the new entrance and Main Street area that takes on a maritime theme complete with lighthouse, new restaurants and shops.
Yves Delhommeau, general manager, said: “The whole street has been inspired by the vibrant local culture.
“We have delved deep into the heritage of this part of Suffolk and Norfolk so that we can reflect the spirit of the area.
“It is these traditions that are unique and that set Pleasurewood Hills apart from other amusement parks. We think it's important to reflect that and show the pride that local people have for their history.”
He added: “Certainly what we are doing at Pleasurewood Hills is not an overnight transformation.
“We know it will take time as well as money. We're not about quick fixes. We want to make real improvements that are underpinned by an ethos of quality in everything we do.
“It's all about offering families a great day out with attractions that pay tribute and bring a new life to the heritage of their local setting.”
The park hit the headlines during the 2004 summer season when it was named as the third worst major tourist attraction in the country for its failure to provide healthy food.
For this reason the food being provided at the park came under the spotlight of the new owners.
“Of course, as a Frenchman I am interested in food and I personally have a background in catering,” said Mr Delhommeau.
“We have refurbished the restaurants, changed the menus and completely overhauled the whole food operation for 2005. We have tried to bring more choice and variety with an emphasis on quality.”