Carnesky’s is spirited away...

Carnesky ghost train which has closed down.
Carnesky ghost train which has closed down.
Have your say

A Promenade attraction is slowly being dismantled after it was scrapped due to poor visitor numbers.

Carnesky’s Ghost Train, opposite the Sandcastle, welcomed its last visitors in April after it was deemed to be no longer financially viable.

The Gazette told earlier this year how in the last four years it only made an operating profit of just £600 against a start-up cost of £285,000.

Both Blackpool Council and latterly the Sandcastle Waterpark tried to make it work, but both decided to walk away from the project.

Now the interior of the site is slowly being stripped back before a decision is made about what will replace it.

The venue also features a significant amount of artworks which will be returned to the attraction’s Marisa Carnesky.

Coun Graham Cain, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for leisure and tourism, said: “We’re now in the process of removing the ghost train, taking into account the need to protect and preserve the art inside.

“We’re in contact with Marisa Carnesky about the pieces of work that belong to her and how to return them.

“The land is currently leased to Blackpool Pleasure Beach which, we understand, is still considering options for the site.”

When the ghost train was first installed at the Winter Gardens in 2008, the then Conservative administration at Blackpool Council brought it in as an arts project to feature alongside the Illuminations.

But it attracted controversy after costing £285,000 to initially install.

The investment was part of £875,000 the council had to allocate from its own budget to lever in £3.5m from the North West Development Agency.

The council secured a further grant of £150,000 – to spend on an Illuminations tableau – after the ghost train moved to its new home at Flagstaff Gardens, next to the Pleasure Beach.

The expense was criticised, although council bosses at the time defended the costs as they said the ghost train helped attract vital funding for such initiatives as the now annual Showzam! festival of circus, magic and variety.

However, it made a meagre profit. The plot is worth between £10,000-£30,000 annually in rent for the council, dependant on its occupier.

No-one from the Pleasure Beach was available for comment.