Wicksteed Park has appointed Ian Bartlett as its new managing director as it continues to strengthen its position as a leading family attraction and the home of children’s play.
Ian joins the park after previously working at The Cornwall Hotel, Spa and Estate in St Austell, Bluestone National Park Resort in Pembrokeshire and Amazing Venues, which provides unique hotels, locations and settings for events across the UK.
His appointment comes as the park embarks on an exciting £4.5million plan to bring its history and heritage alive to all visitors.
The ambitious Historic Heart project is renovating the original heart of the park as the centrepiece and social hub of its restoration, environmental, community and educational agenda.
It is part of a wider @Play project which will showcase the park’s heritage, and enhance the enjoyment of play in line with the original vision of its founder, Charles Wicksteed.
Ian said he was thrilled to be given the responsibility for driving forward the park’s development and growth as a family attraction, with the help of the senior management team he has put in place.
He also paid tribute to the work of the Wicksteed Charitable Trust, which owns and oversees the running on the park, for its ongoing work to build on Charles’ legacy.
He added: “Wicksteed Park has a truly unique place, both in terms of the history and heritage of children’s play and at the forefront of innovation to ensure that future generations continue to enjoy the thrill of play and leading a healthy, active lifestyle.”
Ian said he believed that concentrating on “people and product” was the way to secure the profitability of any business and that he was keen to operate to those principals.
He said: “The new senior management team and I want to make Wicksteed Park an employer of choice for people who want to feel that they are valued as part of a team, through recognition, benefits, incentives and training. That philosophy will extend to our trustees and volunteers as well as our staff.
“We also want our visitors and customers to feel that we are providing them with what they want and expect and are listening to their feedback so that they want to return and visit us again.”
Oliver Wicksteed, chairman of the Wicksteed Charitable Trust said: “Ian’s track record is second to none and we are delighted to have him at the helm during such an important and exciting time.”
Wicksteed Park combines 147 acres of beautiful parkland and as Edwardian pavilion with attractions such as rollercoasters and rides to ensure a great day out for the whole family.
The park was founded in 1921 by Charles Wicksteed, the creator of swings and slides as we know them today, as part of his vision to inspire and encourage play as part of families' health and well-being. It has rightly become known as the home of children’s play.