Spotlight falls on water park

Sandcastle Waterpark
Sandcastle Waterpark
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THE future of one of Blackpool’s leading attractions will be decided by councillors today.

Members of Blackpool Council’s executive are being recommended to keep the Sandcastle Waterpark in authority ownership following a 15-month-long investigation into possible options for the asset.

A report to the committee says the council has invested £7.9m in the waterpark since 2004 and the attraction now draws in more than 300,000 visitors a year.

Four options are being considered - selling the Sandcastle as a going concern, tendering for a new private partner, bringing the attraction back in-house to be run directly by the council’s own leisure service, or maintaining the current agreement with the Blackpool Operating Company (BOC), which manages the park on behalf of the council.

The committee is being recommended to agree the final proposal when the issue goes before the executive today. It is proposed to extend the lease by 15 years.

Sandcastle managing director John Child said: “There is a very strong relationship between BOC and the council, and I think it would be very difficult to get another company to run the Sandcastle as well as it is being run now.

“There is a lot of knowledge here and we have got plenty of new ideas.”

Investment has included new rides, while state-of-the-art boilers are currently being fitted at the attraction in time for its re-opening on February 9.

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