Strictly speaking, Reverend Richard Coles pledged to support mainland’s oldest theme park when it went into administration.
Wicksteed Park in Kettering, Northamptonshire, announced on Monday that it had gone into administration and the attraction doors would not open again, reports CambridgeshireLive.
A post on his Facebook page says: “We are very sad to announce that Wicksteed Park Limited has gone into administration.”
The closure of the park will result in the loss of 48 permanent and 67 part-time workers as the hotel and leisure industry struggles to survive the coronavirus pandemic.
Thousands of pounds were donated to an online Call for donations by many people who have good memories of the park.
The effort to save the family’s favorite park was even supported by the former Strictly star, the Chancellor of the University of Northampton and the vicar of Finedon Rev Coles. according to NorthantsLive.
He tweeted: “Wicksteed Park went into administration. It was the dome of pleasure of my childhood and for tens of thousands of Cytringans. A sad, sad day.”
After Rev Coles was made aware of the fundraising fight, he tweeted: “Right! The fight for SAVE WICKIES! #WicksteedPark.”
Oliver Wicksteed, chairman of the Wicksteed Charitable Trust, which owns the park, said the coronavirus outbreak had brought him no income for months, save for a small amount of parking fees.
In a statement, he said: “We are all devastated by what happened and what impact this will have on our employees, their families, and our visitors.
“We fully appreciate the impact this decision will have on employees who have been through months of uncertainty and difficulties with Covid-19, and we are working hard to ensure that they have access to the support and advice that you need at this time.
“We are working hard to keep the park going, but the reality is that Wicksteed Park will not survive as we know it without urgent support.”
Confidence has announced that it will try to keep the park and pavilion areas open so that people can enjoy their daily exercises.
It has also committed to rewarding all bookings for upcoming events and annual passes, and will attempt to maintain features and shows in the park pavilion as soon as government guidelines permit.
Wicksteed added: “The new company funded by the trust is a highly rationalized company that aims to run the park by next spring, when we hope it can be fully reopened, but we need the help, support and understanding people to try and achieve this. ” The costs of the old business were crippling and could not be sustained with the enormous loss of sales that was already recorded this year.
“Even if parking trips opened in July, the cost of social detachment and the reduced capacity that the park would have to operate would have made it unlikely to be financially viable.”
Although the government’s vacation program has provided aid, the cost of keeping the landscaped park open with no rides and attractions required considerable income each month.
Mr. Wicksteed said: “We have been overwhelmed by the messages of support that people across the country have received during the current crisis and would like to thank people for their continued support and loyalty.
“The access to green spaces we provided during this crisis was critical to people’s mental health and well-being.
“But in the end, Wicksteed Park is a private park, the maintenance of which will cost a lot of money if we continue to be open to people for free as in the past 99 years.”
He continued: “We now need people, not least the government, to recognize everything we have done for the millions of people who need our park and work to support the community.”