Theme park has called in administrators

M&D’s theme park has become the largest scale commercial casualty of the Coronavirus in the area – after going into administration.

The Strathclyde Park-based attraction has shed 165 jobs in the process after contracts were terminated last Thursday (April 23).

Michelle Elliot and Stuart Robb of Leonard Curtis, have been appointed administrators.

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A spokesperson for M&D’s said: “It has been a challenging few years and we have worked really hard to try to diversify and keep the business afloat.

“Like many leisure businesses, the plans we had for the 2020 season have had to be cancelled due to Covid-19.

“We explored all options to try and safeguard the business and jobs of our colleagues, many of whom are longstanding.

“However, it is with a heavy heart that we are having to make 165 employees redundant.”

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The news means that many staff cannot remit payment for their April salaries and will have to apply for a capped sum from the Redundancy Payments Service.

The park had not been involved in the Goverment’s furlough scheme.

However, it emerged that North Lanarkshire Council intends to provide some support to the workers.

A council spokesperson said: “M&Ds has been a popular attraction in North Lanarkshire for many years so its closure is a significant loss to the area and the local economy.

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“The council’s priority is to provide support to the theme park’s staff who have lost their jobs.

“Through the Partnership for Continuing Employment, we will work with the administrators to offer employability, training and financial advice to everyone affected.”

“It would not be appropriate for the council to provide financial information about a company.”

Meanwhile, Motherwell & Wishaw MP Marion Fellows said: “It’s sad to see an iconic Scottish tourist site and large local employer go into administration.

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“The loss of these jobs is a huge concern to those workers and to the local economy.

“I hope that the administrators can find a new owner to take on the business so that M&Ds is able to return once the pandemic subsides.

“I have been vocal in calling for a Universal Basic Income to ensure all workers’ incomes are protected and no one falls through the cracks in the UK’s welfare system or has to wait five weeks for their first Universal Credit payment.

“We have to adapt to the new normal. This includes welfare and the economy.”

M&Ds has been trading in Motherwell for the last 24 years. Operations were suspended last month sparking wider fears about the future of the complex.