Pirate FM News

For Sale: Cornish Theme Park

flambards.jpg

Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 7:02am 3rd May 2013

For sale - an iconic Cornish theme park. One careful owner.

The family who run Flambards in Helston are putting it on the market, after thirty-seven years.

They say it is a personal decision - but will not reveal the asking price.

First established in 1976 by Douglas and Audrey Kingsford-Hale as the Cornwall Aero Park, Flambards quickly grew from an exhibition hall with a vast collection of aviation memorabilia, aircraft and gardens into 27 acres of rides and entertainment.

When Douglas and Audrey Kingsford-Hale retired from day-to-day management of the park, their son James took over as Managing Director whilst Douglas remained as Chairman. James’s daughter Susie also joined the firm in recent years as Head of Marketing.

James Kingsford Hale said: “Deciding to sell has been an enormously difficult decision. My daughter Susie is getting married this year and she and her fiancé understandably have their own plans for the future. Following the passing of my mother Audrey last year and given that my father, Douglas, is now 82 and I’m 54 this year - without an obvious successor to take the reins - we feel it’s the right time to part with a business that has been an important part of our family lives.

"Our greatest sadness will be having to say goodbye to our staff who have quite simply been amazing. We certainly couldn’t have achieved everything we have without them.

“Despite the recession, we saw an increase in visitor numbers last year and turnover increased. One2eleven, our new indoor play complex, has also proved very popular so the potential for Flambards to continue going from strength to strength is huge. As a family we’ve spent 37 years working hard to establish it as a must-see place to visit and enjoy in Cornwall. Now it’s up to a new buyer with a fresh perspective to take the business forward.”

Estate agent Tim Smart said: “I’ve worked with the family over a number of years, advising them on property matters. I know how difficult this decision will have been for them but they are looking forward to the future. Building on their successes, I am confident that the attraction has a very bright future in front of it.”

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