Report by James Franklin , Reporter
Friday, June 29, 2012
THE Wheel of Weston will not return to the resort after the council tore up the contract with its operators.
The attraction was due to return to town on three occasions this year, but with operator Great City Attractions failing to return on each occasion, the council has scrapped that agreement, saying the firm has breached its contract.
The authority has moved fast to find alternative attractions for the Beach Lawns site, previously occupied by the wheel, and has now announced that a giant log flume will take its place.
The wheel was suddenly dismantled and taken away in November, when it was relocated to Glasgow.
At that stage the council said it believed it would return this year, with council executive member for tourism Felicity Baker saying the authority worked closely with Great City Attractions.
But despite the attraction owners saying the wheel would return in Easter and April, the Mercury was told by North Somerset Council that it was still hopeful it would return.
But this week the authority has told the Mercury that it was taking steps to tear up its contract with Great City Attractions.
A spokesman also confirmed that a contract had been agreed for a firm, understood to be Danter’s Attractions, to run the log flume and a carousel at the Beach Lawns site from July onwards.
The flume, the only one of its type in the UK, features two water slide drops of 7 metres and 11 metres, and has the capacity for up to 600 people to use it an hour.
A council spokesman said: “The wheel was due to come back to Weston on April 28 and the company has therefore breached its contract with us.
“We have received nothing from it to say whether they are coming or not.
“We are not prepared to leave this prime site empty for the summer, so have taken steps to terminate our contract with Great City Attractions.
“In place we have now secured a contract with a log flume operator and look forward to the arrival in July.”
The Mercury contacted Great City Attractions for a response, but had not received one by the time of publication.
● This photo of the wheel was taken by reader Adrian Burke last year, and sent in to us through our iwitness site. The site allows our readers to contribute their own pictures and stories. To get started, all you have to do is log in at http://weston.iwitness24.co.uk