Southport’s anchor families’ attraction has spent record levels of investment on marketing aimed at bringing visitors to the town this summer.
Universal Rides CEO Norman Wallis, who owns Southport Pleasureland, is backing the unprecedented marketing spend with forward investment across a range of diverse new attractions which will together help the re-imagined park smash its net carbon zero ambitions – and uplift visitor numbers.
The park is spending across digital, outdoor and broadcast channels with one aim – to increase footfall for the town, something, he says, that will benefit the town’s economy.
Work on delivering sustainability gains is moving forward with changes such as use of recycled paper toilet rolls and increasing use of recycled and sustainable food and drink packaging. These changes run alongside ongoing use of sustainably-sourced building materials and the intention to bring larger-scale eco impact changes online, from green energy supply.
In a series of top-level meetings with international experts in the run up to the park opening daily for the summer season Mr Wallis has showcased his plans with international partners and is now in the final stages of engaging world-class ride design and build expertise. It’s a recipe he says, he knows, works.
He said: “When Southport Pleasureland was home to the mega coaster ‘The Traumatizer’ the park was the second most visited amusement venue in the country, finishing above Alton Towers (Pleasureland 2.6m visitors, Alton Towers 2.45m *English Tourism Council Survey).
“The Traumatizer dominated. It was the ultimate accelerator for visitors and revenue – a phenomenon that benefited the town.”
Mr Wallis’ plans will deliver big visitor numbers as his new generation rides and immersive experiences come online; consequently, he has urged all the town and the borough’s commercial and municipal stakeholders to ensure marketing efforts are cohesive and precision-targeted so everyone can be.
He went on to remind stakeholders of Sefton Borough Council’s Climate Change Emergency Plan https://www.sefton.gov.uk/media/4733/climate-emergency-strategy-final.pdf which recognised the need for urgent action and states:
“Sefton Council will focus its efforts on energy use reduction as well as exploring the potential for green infrastructure and offsetting. We will approach this as an opportunity, not a challenge and ensure our whole community reaps the benefits of climate action. This work will be aligned to the delivery of the Sefton 2030 Vision and the Council’s Core Purpose with the aim of making Sefton a better place to live and work.”
The council has made CO2 promises for a ‘liveable borough,’ said Mr Wallis, and went on to comment that he looked forward to all attractions and planned attractions – as well as the wider business community – partnering the council’s environmental impacts due diligence and, ultimately, delivering the promise.
He said: “We have to achieve balance as we develop. It’s more difficult to achieve net carbon zero for an established business, the easy wins are to ensure that businesses and attractions that are introduced to the tourism offering here have the desired credentials, and will be created in a sustainable way. Ours is a families’ business. We want people to come, enjoy themselves and be safe while they do so. We also want to make sure our business will play its part in keeping them, and their children, safe for years to come as we move to grow sustainably and protect the climate they’ll inherit.
“Sefton made the promise, which calls for wider action beyond the boundaries of its own organisation and engaging with the community and partners for vital action. We should all do everything we can to deliver to that vision a greener, cleaner visitor experience. We are having an extreme weather event right now. The council’s foreword on its plan referenced that humanity has 11 years, from 2018, to turn the climate-change tide. So, while we want visitors, we want how they get here, and what they come to enjoy, to fulfil the council’s ‘Liveable Sefton’ goal.”