WICKSTEED PARK CORONAVIRUS CLOSURE

18th March 2020

Wicksteed Park has closed its attractions until further notice following the latest Government advice on the coronavirus outbreak.

Its public open spaces will remain open for people who wish to use them, with limited refreshments also available, but visitors have been urged to follow the latest health advice at all times.

The Kettering park said it had taken the decision to preserve the health and well-being of customers and staff.

All events at the park and in its Pavilion venue have also been postponed or cancelled for the foreseeable future and staff are currently liaising with event organisers to rearrange them wherever possible.

The park said it would continue to assess the staffing and financial implications of the decision on an ongoing basis but stressed that the situation highlighted the stark reality of the financial pressures it had to operate under.

The park is owned by the Wicksteed Charitable Trust and is reliant on donations to supplement the income it receives from customers.

Wicksteed Park managing director Lee Scragg said: "Following the latest Government advice we have taken the decision to close the park’s attractions until further notice.

“The decision has been taken in order to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and preserve the health and well-being of our customers and staff, which is of paramount importance to us.

“Our public open spaces will remain open for people who wish to use them to exercise, walk their pets or enjoy some fresh air but we would urge people to follow the latest health advice and take the appropriate measures to prevent the transmission of the virus.

“Some limited refreshment options will be provided at the Carousel Café for those people who still wish to visit the park.

“This is an unprecedented situation and we will continue to assess the staffing and financial implications on an ongoing basis.

“However, as a tourism attraction wholly owned by a charity, there is no escaping the fact that our finances are always tight.”

Oliver Wicksteed, chairman of the Wicksteed Charitable Trust, said: “The Wicksteed Charitable Trust receives no regular external funding to help maintain the park as a truly unique, freely accessible public space and closing for any length of time will have a profound and lasting effect on its finances."

The park has recently announced a Locals Days promotion to encourage people to buy ride tickets which can be redeemed at any point during the year, with a series of discounts and prizes available to customers.

It has now announced that the promotion will be rescheduled to run when the park re-opens to customers.

ENDS

Notes to editors:

Wicksteed Park was founded in 1921 by Charles Wicksteed, the creator of swings and slides as we know them today, as part of his vision to inspire and encourage play as part of families' health and well-being. The Wicksteed Charitable Trust was formed to ensure his work continued after his death.

For further information on Wicksteed Park and how to make a charitable donation, go to www.wicksteedpark.org and

www.justgiving.com/wicksteedcharitabletrust

Issued on behalf of Wicksteed Park

For further information, please contact:

Andrew Turner – Andrew Turner Public Relations

07961-556391 andrew@andrewturnerpr.com

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