THE pace of growth at Flamingo Land is quickening to new speeds as the North Yorkshire theme park and zoo continues to expand its horizons.

For more than 40-years the Kirby Misperton venture has steadily grown to become one of the UK’s busiest independent theme parks with more than 1.5 million guests.

Now, as revenues hit almost £28 million, Flamingo Land is poised to soar beyond the boundaries of its original site with plans of varying scale taking the brand further.

With previously revealed ambitions for Scarborough and Scotland, Flamingo Land owner Gordon Gibb has revealed the latest expansion is much closer to home.

Flamingo Land Ltd. which in its latest accounts reported pre-tax profits of £1.3 million, has acquired neighbouring hotel The Ashfield Country Manor, over the road from the attraction’s entrance, for an undisclosed sum.

Explaining the plans to re-brand and re-develop the site, Mr Gibb told The Press: “We are going to call it Dewars Hotel and Rooms.

“We will be doing an extensive refurb and remodelling of the building and we would hope to have that completed by Christmas.

“That said, we wouldn’t consider opening until everything is perfect from top quality service to the food journey from local suppliers and our aspirations for a totally unique, bespoke interior design.”

Slightly further afield, Flaming Land is poised to venture into Scarborough with plans for its Flamingo Land Coast attraction.

The business is Scarborough Borough Council’s preferred bidder for the development of the former Futurist theatre site after revealing plans to create a botanic garden and roller coaster on the site.

The development is based around three environments with subterranean, coastline and sky theme, including a glass-roofed botanical garden, a roller coaster, a 55m lighthouse structure and “Space Shot Tower” which propels customers 55 metres into the sky.

The site, overlooking Scarborough’s south bay, would also include an elevated sea view bar, restaurant and function space, walk-through aviary and new town square.

Speaking about the plans, and how they will address employment issues in theme park industry, Mr Gibb said: “They are already working on site with the demolition of the Futurist, as we are hopeful we will take possession of the site in January next year.

“We’ll be looking at an 18-month build out for the project, which we have been working with the council on for numerous years, looking at various options for leisure opportunities.

“The Futurist had to come down anyway and they asked us if we wanted to get involved. They have been really proactive in getting things done.

“We’re creating a year round business that’s predominantly indoors.

“At the resort we don’t trade 12 months a year so we are always eager to extend our season.

“There is quite a wasteful churn in the theme park industry in terms of employment. We have 120 full time jobs and 550 part time. That’s a lot of jobs but not many careers.

“If we can offer careers rather than jobs we can improve on it year on year rather than just generating contacts who help us in the summer and leave in the winter and hope they come back again the following summer.”

Flamingo Land is also the preferred bidder to develop a holiday resort on the shores of Loch Lomond.

Flamingo Land Ltd is on the brink of securing the 40-acre site at West Riverside, Balloch, within Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, with plans to create a £30 million attraction.

Early plans are under public consultation for lodges, a boutique hotel, hostel and glamping pods on the site, as well as a range of family attractions and restaurants.

Mr Gibb said: “The site is owned by Scottish Enterprise and they have appointed us as the preferred bidder to develop it for Flamingo Land.

“It will be more like a centre parks model. That’s out to public consultation in the pre application stage, there’s no formal plans at the moment.

“We have always been looking for other opportunities. The Scotland plans are more than seven years in the making. I’m a Scot and love that area so have always been keen to find the right opportunity to do something there.”