Drayton Manor theme park sold after entering administration

Drayton Manor Theme Park, in Tamworth, has been sold out of administration.

The theme park has been sold to Looping Group, which runs attractions in the UK, including West Midland Safari Park and Pleasurewood Hills.

More than 600 people were employed at the Staffordshire-based site and their jobs have been saved as a result of the deal.

The Drayton Manor group, which owns a catering and hotels company alongside the theme park, has been facing appointed PwC as administrators in April.

Mike Denny, joint administrator and PwC Director, said: “The Group had been facing exceptionally challenging trading conditions. In February, Storm Dennis forced the Park to close unexpectedly, whilst its planned reopening in March was delayed due to COVID-19. These factors combined exacerbated cash flow pressures on the Group.

“We are delighted to have helped secure a sale which preserves 599 jobs and ensures the survival of a much loved leisure attraction that is steeped in history and heritage. The purchasers will be working with the existing management team to continue to grow and develop the business, we wish them every future success.”

Looping Parks is a European group of regional leisure parks with 15 parks across the UK, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany, Spain and Portugal.

Laurent Bruloy, CEO of the Looping Group, said: “We are thrilled and proud to welcome Drayton Manor Park and its talented team to our group.

“I would like to commend the Bryan family who has, over three generations, been developing the park and made it one of the most beautiful references of our industry in the UK. We are deeply respectful about all that has been achieved by the teams.

“We aim to continue the story and support Drayton Manor’s development with the same entrepreneurial DNA and values that we share whilst keeping the strong local anchorage of the resort.

“Our aim is to provide visitors with an unforgettable, fun and entertaining family day out.  The park’s offering is the perfect fit with us, with its extensive range of award-winning rides and attractions including Europe’s first and only Thomas Land.”

William Bryan, managing director at Drayton Manor Park, said: “Like many businesses, we have faced challenges over recent months, but the sale to the Looping Group is an exciting and positive new chapter for Drayton Manor Park. For us, finding a buyer who would protect jobs was key, as was finding one who would continue to operate and develop the Drayton Manor Park our guests know and love.

“Looping Group’s commitment towards a very ambitious investment plan and its pledge to reinvest profits primarily back into the park, made it a natural and very appealing fit for us.

“The Bryan family was always committed to making the park one of the UK’s leading attractions and, under the Looping Group, we look forward to develop the family-friendly offering for many years to come.”