England

Liquidation for Llewelyn-Bowen designed Magical Journey

Lawrence at the park Image copyright Paul Currie Photography Ltd
Image caption Some visitors complained the experience had not been as advertised

The company behind a much-criticised Christmas attraction designed by Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen has gone into liquidation owing £875,000.

The Magical Journey, at The Belfry Golf Club, near Sutton Coldfield, shut on 16 December.

The attraction received hundreds of complaints on its opening day, but drew praise from customers after a relaunch.

Liquidators said ticket-holders who are still owed money should contact their bank or credit card company.

Chantrey Vellacott said it was investigating whether there are any assets which can be sold to pay back creditors.

Image caption Organisers said the park's opening should have been postponed

The festive park was forced to shut for three days after its opening, when dissatisfied customers branded the top price of £22.50 for a children's ticket a "rip-off".

Some reported seeing elves smoking and criticised the poor quality of gifts handed to children.

'Negative publicity'

Director Paul Dolan admitted bad weather had hampered first-day preparations and it had not been ready to open.

There were more positive comments from customers on the festive park's Facebook page when it reopened.

The attraction closed permanently on 16 December saying a major financial backer had pulled out.

In a statement, the liquidators said: "The directors of Magical Journeys Limited faced a number of significant challenges and attribute the failure to a combination of poor weather hampering site preparation, the temporary closure of the attraction, leading to negative publicity which had an impact on ticket sales, and higher than anticipated costs."

Mr Llewelyn-Bowen has previously said his only contribution was "some design concepts" and he had not backed the project financially.

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