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DP Associates sees the ‘green shoots’ of recovery for the leisure attractions industry


Strategic leisure consultancy DP Associates (DPA), currently involved in a variety of projects within the theme park and visitor attractions sector, is reporting clear signs that the industry in general is coming out of a relatively quiet period as the effects of the worldwide recession begin to recede.

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The UK-based consultancy, which boasts a vast amount of experience in attraction concept design, development and operation, has a varied client portfolio having worked on a diverse range of projects, from the redevelopment of a well-known, traditional seaside amusement park in the UK to a brand new FEC project in Abu Dhabi. And founder and Managing Director Duncan Phillips is seeing a return of confidence and investment in the many projects DPA is involved in as well as elsewhere.

“There is definitely more confidence and an increased amount of activity throughout the attractions industry, ” he comments, “both in our home territory of the UK and throughout the world. Not surprisingly with the way the global economy has been of late, many new projects and developments have been either cancelled or postponed, while existing operators have been extremely cautious where new investment has been concerned.

“However, we can see from the inquiries we are receiving that things are moving forward again in pretty much all sectors of the attractions industry, be it theme parks, FECs, animal attractions, heritage sites, museums and others. Venues are getting busier, more investment is being made and more projects are on the go. It looks like things are really starting to move again.”

The wide range of inquiries DPA is receiving reflects the expertise the company is able to offer developers, investors, owners and operators of all types of leisure and attraction facility. Among the most recent projects the company has been involved in are the redevelopment of Dreamland Amusement Park in Margate, UK, where the traditional seaside town park is being brought back to life, and Bletchley Park (see top image), a UK heritage site famous for its code breaking exploits during the Second World War, which DPA helped to transform into a visitor attraction.

“The experience and advice we are able to provide stems from a lifetime in the attractions industry, ” says Duncan Phillips, “planning and designing attractions and leisure facilities from scratch, in addition to many years operating parks and attractions. Indeed we also currently operate the 360 Play children’s play centre in Milton Keynes which we conceptualised, designed and built. Our philosophy is to understand the client’s customer, the end user, as well as the client’s vision, so that we provide the right solution and direction for a venue. This is key to how we work and to the success of any facility.”

About DP Associates

DP Associates is a strategic leisure company providing a multi-disciplinary service to leisure venue operators, developers and investors.
The founding of DPA by Duncan Phillips followed over 20 years of operational experience within the theme park industry, coupled to the design and creation, on green field sites, of highly successful attraction venues.

A wide range of expertise and services is available to clients. From initial concept design and master planning through architect and supplier briefings to implementing and opening an attraction, DPA’s experience allows the company to conceive imaginative, entertaining and immersive project solutions which bring to life the client’s vision.

Additionally, DPA’s expertise extends throughout all operational aspects of a project, including visitor flows, guest demographics, attraction choice and operation, staff training and more. DPA also provides solutions for existing venues, be it in relation to individual ride based attractions, both old and new, other elements of the entertainment and facility offering or visitor numbers.

For further information please contact DP Associates on 01908 608577, email or visit

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