M&D’s theme park enters administration

M&D's theme park, Scotland

Scotland’s last remaining major theme park M&Ds has entered administration with the loss of 165 jobs.

Staff were notified on Thursday that they were being made redundant with immediate effect.

A statement from M&D’s said the park had suffered “a challenging few years” but also highlighted the coronavirus crisis as an issue.

“It has been a challenging few years and we have worked really hard to try to diversify and keep the business afloat.

“Like many leisure businesses, the plans we had for the 2020 season have had to be cancelled due to COVID-19.

“We explored all options to try and safeguard the business and jobs of our colleagues, many of whom are long-standing, however it is with a heavy heart that we are having to make 165 employees redundant.”

Financial difficulties

The Motherwell park opened in 1996 and, following the closure of Loudoun Castle in 2010, has been Scotland’s last remaining major theme park.

It has been reported that an email went out to staff explaining that the park had been “suffering financial issues for some time”.

Previously those staff had been expected to be furloughed – the government scheme which sees up to 80% of wages maintained where a worker is not currently needed by a business.

M&D's theme park, Scotland
M&D’s is the last major Scottish theme park

Glasgow Live said that it understood a sale of the park fell through earlier this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The nearby Alona Hotel, which was operated by M&D’s, has also entered administration.

Joint administrator Michelle Elliot said: “Despite exhaustive actions by the Group’s director to increase sales and footfall, reduce costs and attract new investment, the business has struggled over recent times, resulting in significant cash flow pressure.

“Unfortunately, due to the current unprecedented circumstances, and despite being in advanced discussions with an interested party, a ‘going concern’ sale of the business was not possible.”