Wicksteed Park welcomes back visitors after being saved from closure

  • Watch a video report by ITV News Anglia's Claire McGlasson

Historic tourist attraction Wicksteed Park in Kettering has reopened its doors again after it was saved from going into administration.

After the park closed in March due to coronavirus, the company went into administration, with the loss of 115 jobs.

The outbreak left the Trust with no income for months, apart from a small amount of car parking revenue.

However a fundraising appeal launched by the Wicksteed Charitable Trust topped £370,000, after The National Lottery Heritage Fund announced it was providing an emergency grant of £247,000.

Wicksteed Park during lockdown June 2020. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The park reopened at the weekend with visitors able to enjoy the facilities - although the rides remain closed.

It hopes to fully reopen next spring in time to celebrate its 100th birthday, with 90 volunteers signed up to help look after the grounds.

The park is owned by Wicksteed Charitable Trust, but was run by a wholly-owned subsidiary company, Wicksteed Park Ltd.

A new company, funded by the Trust, is a business aimed at getting the park through to next spring.

It has now acquired most of the park’s assets and is working to try and secure the remainder.

The £370,000 generated so far will help the Trust to continue to support free access to the park and will be used for staffing, security, insurance, utility bills, maintenance, refuse collection and looking after the animals.

The Wicksteed Charity has said it will continue funding the opening of the park and Pavilion so that people can still enjoy it.

To donate to the charity visit the fundraising page.