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Lightwater Valley theme park acquired by Brighton Pier Group

Brighton Pier Group has acquired the entire share capital of Lightwater Valley Attractions Limited for a consideration of up to £5m in cash.

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Brighton Pier Group owns and trades nine bars, eight indoor mini golf sites and Brighton Palace Pier. The group said the acquisition will be funded from a £2m extension to its revolving credit facility and existing cash resources.

Brighton Pier Group also said the transaction is expected to be immediately earnings-accretive after completion. The total consideration is being satisfied by an initial payment of £4m in cash on the completion date.

Lightwater Valley owns and operates the Lightwater Valley theme park in North Yorkshire, which covers 175 acres. It is home to attractions, rides, crazy golf, indoor and outdoor play, retail and F&B.

Lightwater Valley expansion

“I am delighted to welcome all the team at Lightwater Valley to the Brighton Pier Group,” said Anne Ackord, CEO of the Brighton Pier Group.

“I believe that, together, we can develop Lightwater Valley into the premier amusement destination across Yorkshire and the surrounding areas,” Ackord added.

“This acquisition continues the company’s development as a consolidator within the leisure industry, and we are excited to explore further growth opportunities as they arise.”

As COVID-19 restrictions lift across the UK, the Brighton Pier Group board is confident that Lightwater Valley’s trading will return to normal soon.

The board also plans to expand and develop the North Yorkshire attraction’s extensive space, while positioning itself as a consolidator in the sector.

UK staycation market growth

“I believe our businesses are ideally suited to take advantage of the pent-up demand as the UK unlocks its restrictions,” Ackord said.

“The booming ‘staycation’ market is going to significantly grow UK tourism over the coming months as international travel restrictions remain in place, this provides a great opportunity over the summer for all the group’s operations.”

Elsewhere, Nikal Ltd and Media Invest Entertainment have submitted a planning application for Blackpool Central, while Leslie Jones Architecture and McKinney Group have submitted plans for the £60m Modern Surf Manchester project.

Image: Lightwater Valley

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Bea Mitchell

A journalist specialising in entertainment and attractions, Bea loves theme parks (mainly Disney) and is particularly interested in things of a gothic, horror or fantasy nature.

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