Lightwater Valley ‘down 40,000 visitors’ in 2012

Lightwater ValleyLightwater Valley’s manager has said that plans for a holiday village are crucial for the future of the park.

Mark Bainbridge said that a 12% drop in profits in 2012 – equivalent to 40,000 guests – could not be sustained for a further two years.

He told the Ripon Gazette: “This year has been horrendous for outdoor attractions, especially those like Lightwater without accommodation.

“This year we are 12 per cent down on profits, which is the equivalent of 40,000 visitors. We can’t sustain another two years in this kind of business.

“Now we are feeling the pressure and it’s getting harder and harder. We do need to change there is no doubt about that. We have spent £18 million on the theme park over the last 10 years but it’s not led to an increase in visitors.”

Plans for a holiday village were thrown out by Harrogate Borough Council in 2008 due to concerns over sustainability, despite strong support and a petition of 10,000 names in favour.

However, the current proposals – which are currently under consideration – feature only 106 wooden lodges, a opposed to a 300+ combination of caravans and lodges of the original planning application.