Northamptonshire theme park enters administration

Tue, 16 Jun 2020 | ADMINISTRATION

Wicksteed Park in Kettering, Northamptonshire, which claims to be the oldest theme park on the UK mainland, has entered administration. The theme park was opened in 1921 and was due to celebrate its centenary next year but has succumbed to the financial strain of coronavirus.

The park is owned by the Wicksteed Charitable Trust and run through its subsidiary company Wicksteed Park Limited. The administration, which has resulted in the loss of 115 jobs, is being overseen by Grant Thornton LLP.

In a letter to staff, the administrators said that “the leisure park and events business of the Company has been critically impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak and has been unable to trade over its peak summer period. The financial impact of this lack of trading has led to the administration of the company."

Oliver Wicksteed, chairman of the Wicksteed Charitable Trust, said that the business couldn’t have survived in the current climate, adding that the costs of social distancing and reduced capacity would have made re-opening the park in July financially inviable.

Wicksteed also announced that the trust would back a new, smaller company, which had been set up in an attempt to raise sufficient money to keep the park operational until next spring, when it is hoped it will be able to re-open for its centenary.

In its most recent financial report, to the year ending February 28 2019, Wicksteed Park held non-current assets valued at £5.5 million and current assets of £926,062. Its total assets less liabilities at the time were valued at £3.1 million.

In 2018, Wicksteed Charitable Trust was given £2.4 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund. In its February 2019 report, Wicksteed Park reported that the trust was supporting it through cash flow loans and that it had seen two loss-making years following significant investment into the park’s infrastructure, maintenance and repairs.

Following this investment, the park was looking to pursue a growth strategy, supported by a media campaign, as part of a turnaround plan to be fully implemented during the first quarter 2020/2021. This was supported by a £2.3 million inter-company loan that was being repaid at an annual value of £100,000.

View the latest distressed UK businesses here.

Share this article

Latest Businesses for Sale

Festival Operator Business
Essex, South East, UK

An excellent opportunity exists to purchase the business and assets of a well-established festival business that has built up a successful annual festival in the South East of England. Offers invited.

Asking Price: £100,000
Turnover: £5,000,000


Group of Travel Agents
North East, UK

Retailers of consolidated scheduled air fares to the general public business clients & other travel agencies. Complementing its air fare sales the company also offers tailor-made holiday itineraries package holidays accommodation care hire & insuranc...

Asking Price: Offers Invited
Turnover: £638,000

Shooting Sport Design & Manufacturer
West Midlands, UK

Designer developer & manufacturer of a laser clay pigeon shooting sport sold to a worldwide customer base & utilised by leisure centres corporate event companies & private individuals. Can be operated both outdoors & indoors as a competitive sport or...

Asking Price: Offers Invited
Turnover: £700,000

View more businesses for sale

News Search

Latest News


Mobile phone supplier and recycler goes into administration | ADMINISTRATION

Mobile phone refurbishment company Redeem UK has gone into a...


John Lewis to close eight stores as COVID-19 accelerates shift to online | BUSINESS NEWS

Department store chain John Lewis has said that eight of its...


Chancellor cuts VAT on hospitality as part of £30 billion rescue plan | BUSINESS NEWS

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a £30 billion pla...

Free guide: 10 Biggest Buyer Mistakes

Sign up to receive our acquisition alert emails to get your FREE guide


Related News


Administrators called in for energy technology firm Faraday Grid | ADMINISTRATION

Faraday Grid, an Edinburgh-headquartered energy transformer ...

Want access to the latest businesses for sale?

Business Sale Report is your complete solution to finding great acquisition opportunities.

Join today to receive:

  • Comprehensive range of businesses for sale
  • Make direct contact with business sellers or their intermediaries
  • Access to all UK administrations, liquidations and winding-up petitions
  • Daily email alerts for the latest businesses for sale & distressed notifications
  • Business Sale Report publication posted to you every month
  • Advertise your acquisition requirements on our "business wanted" section

All this and much more, including the latest M&A news and exclusive resources