Stockeld Park: Investing and Growing Despite Cost of Living Crisis

A leading children’s Adventure Park has defied the economic gloom prevailing across much of Britain and trebled its investment because they are “more optimistic than ever” for the future of the business.

Stockeld Park, a highly diversified estate in North Yorkshire, welcomes more than a quarter of a million visitors to its Adventure Park every year, and says it only expects these numbers to increase.

“The only way to grow in difficult economic times is to invest”, said Stockeld Park Executive Director George Grant. “If you can offer customers new and better experiences in a welcoming and highly-maintained environment, they will continue to come. That has been our experience at Stockeld and we see no reason to change course now.”

Last year Stockeld Park opened the Playhive, one of the the largest indoor play facilities in Europe, at a cost of nearly £4.5 million. “We began construction on the Playhive in mid-2020 at the height of the Covid pandemic when many businesses were cutting everything back”, said Mr Grant. “The result was we added an additional 50,000 people to our visitor numbers and 2022 was our best year ever.”

Since 2019, annual investment on the park has more than trebled year-on-year not including the Playhive project, and Stockeld has created more than two dozen new jobs.

Earlier this year Stockeld began investment on a new electrically-powered train to run along a 1.2km trail around the park’s Enchanted Forest, complete with automated level crossings, a fully-furnished old-fashioned station ticket office, and traditional Victorian platform.

“The Flying Stocksman will be departing from Stockeldbury Station at some point later this year”, said Mr Grant, “although as with everything on British Rail there have one or two delays!

“This has been a major new investment and will be a very special addition to the park’s offering. The train will have proper heated carriages with sliding glass windows, and the train itself is a truly beautiful traditional steam engine design in purple, blue and gold.

“The simple fact of the matter is we cannot afford to sit still when times are hard. When consumers have to choose more carefully than ever where and when to spend their money, such as in the current economic climate, the only way to succeed is to ensure your offer continues to evolve and improve. The inevitable alternative is stagnation and failure.”

In addition to the new train, Stockeld is also embarking on significant improvements to enhance the experience in their award-winning Santa’s Grotto. “Inside will be all sorts of exciting things to see, including Mrs Klaus’s Kitchen, Toytown, and Rudolf’s Reindeer Paddock”, said Mr Grant. “These are major new additions to the Park in 2023, but we are confident they will make for an even better experience for our guests, and that is the key to success.

“To be honest, looking to the future I am more optimistic and excited than ever before.”

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