A LANCASHIRE theme park popular with Wiganers has closed after almost 30 years in business.
Bosses behind Camelot theme park, in Charnock Richard, near Chorley, announced yesterday they would not reopen for the 2013 season.
They blamed the bad weather, televised Olympics, and Queen’s Jubilee celebrations during the summer for this year being ‘particularly challenging’.
The park employed 200 people during their peak summer months.
Roy Page, managing director of Knights Leisure, who own the park, said: “It is with reluctance we have had to take this very difficult decision.
“Following a number of years of declining visitor numbers, the 2012 season proved particularly challenging.”
The shock decision comes just months after bosses behind the medieval-themed site said they were busily preparing for the next season.
The theme park, which opened in 1983, features rollercoasters including Knightmare, log-flumes, and the popular jousting show.
Mr Page said: “Whilst we have become used to inclement summer weather in the UK during the past few years, a combination of the wettest summer for 100 years, the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations followed by the spectacular television coverage of the Olympic Games during our busiest months of the summer and the school holidays had a major impact on visitors to Camelot.
“I would like to thank all the staff who have helped to make Camelot Theme Park one of the region’s most entertaining visitor attractions and our many loyal visitors for their continued support over the past 29 wonderful years.”
Rollercoaster enthusiast Peter Andrews, 41, who tours the country sampling them parks, said: “I knew the park had been struggling for a while now.
“This is a sad day for the roller-coaster community.”
The theme park closed for the winter season on September 2 and did not reopen for the half term holidays. It is understood signs outside the park advertising its reopening next year are now being taken down.
Leader of Chorley Council, Coun Alistair Bradley, said: “I have been to the theme park countless times with my children, so this news comes as quite a blow.
“I knew they were having issues and this summer had been quite a bad one. I feel for the people who were employed at the site and I will be getting in touch with the theme park to see if there is anything we can do.”
Last year the theme park was at the centre of an horrific accident when a 12-year-old boy fell 30ft from the white-knuckle Excalibur II ride.
Camelot faced closure in 2009 when it was put into administration by owners Prime Resorts. It was saved in a buy-out by Knights Leisure.