Leisure operator Brighton Pier Group has purchased Lightwater Valley Theme Park in North Yorkshire for £5 million. This gives renewed hope for the theme parks signature ride The Ultimate which remains in place at the park but has not operated since the COVID 19 pandemic began in 2019.
Who are Brighton Pier Group
The Company currently operates the Palace Pier in Brighton, East Sussex, as well as several miniature golf locations. Its board said it believed the “extensive space” at Lightwater Valley provided a “long-term growth opportunity” for the group to develop and expand the park.
Chief Executive officer Anne Ackord made the following statement:
“I believe that we can develop Lightwater Valley into the premier amusement destination across Yorkshire and the surrounding areas”
“The booming ‘staycation’ market is going to significantly grow UK tourism over the coming months as international travel restrictions remain in place, providing a great opportunity over the summer for all the group’s operations.”
The Future of The Ultimate
The Ultimate remains in place at Lightwater Valley Theme Park but has not operated since the COVID 19 pandemic began in 2019. In a recent visit to the North Yorkshire Theme Park, we were disappointed to see that all of the rides signage had been removed. We asked a member of staff for their thoughts on the future of the ride and they said that it was unlikely we would ever get to ride it again with the park taking a strategic shift towards the family market and withdrawing the majority of the parks thrill rides.
A New Hope
Thankfully, the North Yorkshire Theme Parks new owners Brighton Pier Group already operate a number of large thrill rides on Brighton Pier so they have the expertise required to operate The Ultimate. They gave the following positive statement to Ride Rater in regards to the future of The Ultimate.
“We haven’t ruled anything out at all.”
“The sellers had not had time to practice the family-oriented strategy, so it has not been tested,”
“There is a place in the market for this type of park, or we would not have purchased it. Our aim is to improve it and make it an enjoyable experience for everyone that comes here.”
“The Ultimate is not dead in the water. It needs some work doing on it, but we are more than conscious of its iconic status.”
“If we can do something with it, then we will. Obviously, safety has got to be the priority, so in due course, we will have a look at it and make sure it complies with modern standards.”
Ms Ackord described the Ultimate as “quite fascinating” and “quite a feature”. She said: “It is quite unique. There are options to shorten it a little bit or to change its track.”
“You wouldn’t want something that large in your back garden and not be able to use it, would you?”