The assignment has seen Huddersfield-headquartered Access North Structures clean the 167ft high inverted roller coaster The Odyssey – a thrill-seeking ride that travels at 62mph along a 2924ft course. New bird deterrent systems have also been installed to keep the roller coaster – and local wildlife – clean and safe.
Elsewhere on the site, the six-strong team of IRATA-trained rope access specialists has worked on what, for many, is the heart of the park. At nearly 100ft tall, the iconic glazed pyramid structure has long housed Fantasy Island’s pavilion area with slides, eateries and more. But work is underway to make the area more atmospheric, with a ‘big reveal’ planned for only a few weeks’ time.
Using pure rope access techniques, the technicians have therefore climbed through the pyramid’s interior lattice metalwork, to systematically clean and repaint the structure. Including the installation of temporary drape sheets to protect the interior, all of the steel and windows have also been cleaned, prepped, repainted and bulbs replaced.
Similar maintenance works have also been carried out on the pyramid’s exterior glazing and steel architecture, to ensure a clean, bright appearance that sets the right first impression for holidaymakers.
"In the competitive leisure industry, everything centres upon the visitor experience. So, regardless of the height or intricacy of a structure, it is crucial to ensure their appearance is maintained"
The contract, won via competitive tender, will now see Access North Structures continue to support the site owners Mellors Group with the upkeep of the park.
Commenting on the project, Access North Structures’ managing director Berenice Northcott said: “In the competitive leisure industry, everything centres upon the visitor experience. So, regardless of the height or intricacy of a structure, it is crucial to ensure their appearance is maintained, down to the smallest detail.
“As we’ve been working so close to the sea, in winter, we’ve naturally had to accommodate the added complexities of coastal weather conditions, especially when working at height. But we’ve worked in this industry for years, with annual maintenance contracts with similar weather conditions, for tourism giants like Butlins, for example.”
The 41-acre Fantasy Island site was bought by international leisure specialists Mellors Group, last year. At the close of the 2016 summer season, the family-owned business announced a £3m investment in the park, in readiness for the March 2017 re-opening. But with a ten year plan to continually reinvigorate the destination, the goal is to boost business on the whole of the Skegness coast.
Mellors Group also owns a Fantasy Island theme park in Dubai, as well as UK attractions including Nottingham Winter Wonderland, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Beach and the siting of giant observation wheels throughout the country.
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