One of the Cornwall’s leading family attractions has been put up for sale for the first time in its 37 year history.
Established in 1976 by Douglas and Audrey Kingsford-Hale as the Cornwall Aero Park, Flambards quickly grew from an exhibition hall with a vast collection of aviation memorabilia, aircraft and gardens into 27 acres of rides and crowd-pleasing entertainment for all ages.
Flambards’ Victorian Village, in particular, has gained an international reputation for being a unique visitor experience – as has Britain in the Blitz, an authentic re-creation of a street during World War II that was officially opened by Dame Vera Lynn in 1984.
When Douglas and Audrey Kingsford-Hale retired from day-to-day management of the Helston-based park, their son James took over as managing director while Douglas remained as chairman. James’s daughter Susie also joined the firm in recent years as head of marketing.
James Kingsford-Hale said the decision to sell Flambards had been an “enormously difficult” one.
He said: “My daughter Susie is getting married this year and she and her fiancé understandably have their own plans for the future. Following the passing of my mother Audrey last year and given that my father, Douglas, is now 82 and I’m 54 this year – without an obvious successor to take the reins – we feel it’s the right time to part with a business that has been an important part of our family lives.
“Our greatest sadness will be having to say goodbye to our staff who have quite simply been amazing. We certainly couldn’t have achieved everything we have without them.
“Despite the recession, we saw an increase in visitor numbers last year and turnover increased. One2eleven, our new indoor play complex, has also proved very popular so the potential for Flambards to continue going from strength to strength is huge.”
The attraction will be marketed by Stratton Creber Commercial and Jones Lang LaSalle.