£100m plan for theme park on the bonny, bonny banks


Loch Lomond: Diggers could be a more frequent sight if the plan gets the go-ahead

NATIONAL park chiefs have confirmed they are in negotiations with a nightclub boss who wants to spend 100million on developing a theme park on the banks of Loch Lomond.

Glasgow businessman Wayne Gardner-Young is hoping to build the attraction, along with a hotel, cafes and restaurants alongside a five-star touring caravan site with a spa.

A variety of holiday apartments also forms part of the plans.

The entrepreneur is already developing the site of the former Highland Lodge, Balmaha, into a 1.5million caf-restaurant complex with 15 lodges.

And he is now in advanced negotiations with bosses from the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park about the 100million project

He has declined to give specific details about the location, which could take up to five years to develop.

The scheme, which is to be funded by European venture capitalists and Mr Gardner-Young, will be based around

“nature and the Loch Lomond environment’ and will involve

“zip-line rides, treehouses, and adventure.”

The 43-year-old last year acquired the Buchanan Arms Hotel in Drymen, Stirlingshire, for 2,5million in his first foray into the national park area.

Mr Gardner-Young said:

“Negotiations are continuing so I don’t want to be exact. I will say it will be situated right on the shores of Loch Lomond and there is little doubt this will happen.

“This will be a high-class development that will be built in harmony with the countryside and the environment.

“It will be something Scotland and Loch-Lomond-siders can be proud of.

“I’m not sure why a project of this size and ambition has not been done before at Loch Lomond, probably a combination of lack of vision and lack of guts – too much parochialism, too much of a B&B, ham and eggs mentality.

“However I do not want to drive past the site in a few years and say,

“I wish I had done that.” “

Fiona Riddle, chief executive of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park confirmed the park authority was in negotiations with Mr Gardner-Young, but declined to be specific about its location because it was

“still in the pre-planning application phase.”

She added:

“We have very much embraced an

“open for business’ attitude within the park. I think Wayne Gardner-Young’s development idea – at least at this pre-planning stage – is very much the type of development we want in the park.

“Some say we are jeopardising conservation, but I think it is the opposite. With this kind of development, we are celebrating the outdoors. “