International leisure group buys Fantasy Island in Skegness

Fantasy Island in Skegness has been bought by the international Mellors Group. ANL-160403-130746001
Fantasy Island in Skegness has been bought by the international Mellors Group. ANL-160403-130746001

Fantasy Island has been bought by a major international leisure group with a park of the same name in Dubai.

The purchase by the Mellors Group signals positive change for the attraction, which was placed into administration in August 2014.

As well as the leisure park in Dubai, Mellors Group is also responsible for London’s Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, Nottingham Winter Wonderland, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Beach, The Nottingham Beach and the siting of giant Observation wheels around the UK. It is also familiar with caravan park operations within the UK, brings vast and varied experience to the Skegness resort.

Managing direct James Mellors said; “It is a very exciting time for our company as we have seen strong growth in our events business throughout the region and abroad. We pride ourselves on delivering the highest standard of attractions and we have some interesting investment plans and new rides for Fantasy Island in the near future.”

The group’s ownership of the 41-acre freehold property is expected to transform the current leisure offering, which already delivers record-breaking roller coasters and Europe’s largest seven-day market, as well as 340 static caravan pitches.

Key members of staff have remained in place throughout the administration period and have helped to guide Fantasy Island through this important transition. During that time, the site has been updated and refreshed, operations have been reviewed, new offers and facilities introduced and last holiday season saw an increase in visitors and turnover – proving that the British seaside, and Fantasy Island, still holds appeal for local residents and visitors from further afield.

Fantasy Island director of finance Claire Draper said: “We’re delighted to be able to make this announcement ahead of our 2016 opening weekend extravaganza on March 12. It is testament to the hard work of everybody involved over the past 18 months and what we have been able to achieve with the support and understanding of the Administrators.

“Our joint efforts have proved that Fantasy Island is, and can continue to be, a successful and profitable resort. The added knowledge and support of Mellors Group provides long-term stability and we are confident that it will help to take Fantasy Island to the next level, to the benefit of the local economy through both jobs and tourism”.

Administrator Benjamin Wiles, of Duff & Phelps, added: “Fantasy Island is an important local leisure destination attracting up to 40,000 visitors a day in the high season. It is a significant contributor to the local economy and key local employer. I am therefore delighted that the team has successfully delivered a turnaround and sale. Our work has achieved the optimal outcome and secured a long-term future for Fantasy Island and the local economy.”