Alton Towers theme park may cut up to 190 jobs amid a plunge in visitor numbers after a rollercoaster crash in June which seriously injured five people – two women needed leg amputations.
The Staffordshire park owned by Merlin Entertainments said that the “devastating incident” reduced visitor numbers, especially over the summer. It is in the midst of restructuring the business ahead of its new season next March.
“The Smiler” crashed on 2 June 2015 and seriously injured five riders. An investigation by the HSE was initiated and the ride was closed indefinitely.
The group said: “At the end of a very difficult year, Alton Towers Resort has confirmed a proposed restructure of the business to be completed in time for the opening of the new season in March 2016.
“Regretfully however, it may result in the loss of up to 190 salaried jobs across the resort.
“We anticipate some of these will be accounted for by a programme of non-replacement of existing vacancies, early retirement, redeployment elsewhere in the group, and voluntary redundancy. Redundancy occurs when a position is no longer required – if they dismiss you and somebody else is placed in that job, it is not redundancy.
“As soon as employee representatives have been appointed a consultation period will begin.”
Merlin Entertainments reported in September that like-for-like revenues had plunged 11.4 percent so far this year.
The rollercoaster crash has also had an impact on visitor numbers at Merlin’s other attractions, including Thorpe Park and Chessington World of Adventures.
Visitor numbers at the theme parks aren’t expected to recover until 2017, according to Merlin’s chief executive Nick Varney.