Isle of Man theme park proposal 'not viable'

Image caption,
Rollercoasters are unlikely to be appearing on the Manx horizon

Plans to create a theme park on the Isle of Man have been abandoned.

A report, to go before Tynwald next week, concluded the venture would not be financially viable given the island's population size.

Merlin Entertainments, which owns Alton Towers, told tourism officials it looked for a market of seven million people within a two-hour drive.

"This is clearly not achievable", said the report by the Department of Economic development.

Isle of Man Tourism officials began their enquiries after a motion laid before Tynwald last year seeking a theme park for children and families.

They found the figures required to design, build and run a theme park far outweighed the revenue they could hope to bring in.

Building rollercoasters alone can cost up to £15m, while the Harry Potter theme park in Orlando is estimated to have cost £134m, the report said.

Officials believe that any theme park built on the island would have to compete with top attractions in the UK to motivate UK residents to visit the island.

"Clearly the level of investment required would need large numbers of off island visitors to have any chance of being financially viable," the report stated.

"People will not travel to the island to visit a sub-standard product when they can go to an established, good quality theme park closer to home," it added.

Officials believe any park would need ongoing investment from the government, which has been ruled out.

"The intention therefore of Isle of Man Tourism as part of the Department of Economic Development is not to seek further to establish a theme park on the island," the report concluded.

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