Pleasure Island theme park closes down

Boomerang rollercoaster, Pleasure Island

Pleasure Island theme park in Cleethorpes has closed down after more than 23 years of operation.

A large fireworks display tonight ended the park’s 24th and final season, with the rides being ridden by guests until 8pm.

The attraction has faced financial difficulties in recent years, with the owner citing poor weather conditions and a lack of support for tourism from North East Lincolnshire Council.

Annual attendances had fallen from 250,000 to around 100,000.

The McCormack’s entertainment bar, located at the park’s main entrance, will remain open.

Pleasure Island opened in 1993, on the site of Cleethorpes’ former zoo and stock car racing track.

It was launched in 27 May that year, as a subsidiary of the Flamingo Land theme park in North Yorkshire.

Following a family fall-out in 2010, it was announced that Pleasure Island was to close. However, it almost immediately reopened under Melanie Wood when she broke away as an independent operator.

‘In the blood’

Yesterday Wood told the Grimsby Telegraph that Pleasure Island was “in the blood” and that the park was a “a part” of her.

Melanie Wood at Pleasure Island

An animal farm was one of the last new additions to the park

She said: “People’s expectations got bigger, with that the cost gets bigger of the new projects to catch the public’s attention you have to be bigger and better.

“Unfortunately we are just not able to compete with that. We are too small. There’s the cost of maintaining old rides, parts are becoming more expensive and hard to get hold of because they’ve become obsolete.”

She said it was sad for her, her staff and for Cleethorpes as a resort, again citing a lack of council support for the closure.

“Tourism as a whole, [North East Lincolnshire Council] need to take it seriously,” she said.

“We were a major contributor to the local economy. We could have been so much better with input and support. The renewable industry is fantastic but don’t forget about us.”

A number of the park’s rides are already up for sale on the used rides market, although the future of the site is not yet known.