Lightwater Valley gets new owners

Lightwater Valley has more than 40 rides and attractions. (S)
Lightwater Valley has more than 40 rides and attractions. (S)

The Ripon home of Europe’s longest roller-coaster ride has new owners after it was acquired for an undisclosed sum.

Lightwater Valley Theme Park, near North Stainley, was bought by Livingstone Leisure from Jersey-based Ball Investments.

Livingstone Leisure also owns Flambards Theme Park in Cornwall and Birdland Park and Gardens in the Cotswolds.

Prior to setting up Livingstone Leisure, director Ian Cunningham, who was born and bred in Harrogate, was the UK managing director of Spanish-based Aspro Ocio.

He said: “We are delighted to be able to add such a high-profile and established theme park in to our existing leisure portfolio.

“It is a great attraction, with a great team and we’re looking forward to working with them to build on its excellent reputation.”

Livingstone Leisure has a track record of long-term investment in family attractions with a view to improving the existing business framework.

“We’re also committed to forging stronger links with the local economy and community,” Mr Cunningham added.

Lightwater Valley is one of the UK’s most popular theme parks, and has more than 40 rides and attractions.

Among its signature rides is the 1.5-mile long Ultimate rollercoaster – the longest coaster ride in Europe – and the Eagle’s Claw aerial ride.

The acquisition marks a new era for Lightwater Valley, which last month was fined £40,000 and ordered to pay £17,000 in costs after a five-year-old girl was involved in an accident on one of its rides.