LIGHTWATER Valley theme park has invested £1.2 million in five new rides for its 2011 season.

The investment, in the pirate-themed Skeleton Cove, is part of a five-year investment plan.

The new rides in Skeleton Cove were bought from Loudoun Castle in Scotland, which has now closed.

Another £1.2 million investment through the winter of 2009/10 at the Ripon theme park saw the creation of Wild River Rapids, a re-theme of the Rat ride into Raptor Attack, hire of a Mondial Top Scan ride branded as Whirlwind and the establishment of the Frightwater Valley Halloween weekend.

Paul Walker, operations manager, said: "This is an exciting year for Lightwater Valley. We have been adding new elements each year for the past four years but this is by far the largest addition so far.

"We have also been working hard on the development and landscaping of the themed land ensuring that every stone is sculpted and fit for a pirate ship."

Allan Leech, chief executive of Heritage Great Britain Plc which owns the park, said: "Having agreed the necessary financial support from our bankers, Lightwater Valley is currently in the second year of a significant five year investment plan."