Tories claim closure ‘bolt out of the blue’

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THE FINANCIAL crisis surrounding Treasure Island was a closely guarded secret, according to concerned Tories who say they have been kept in the dark.

The children’s attraction closed and the management company Coasta Limited went into voluntary liquidation last week after it was revealed it owed more than £50,000 in rent to Eastbourne Borough Council, the landlord of the site.

The council said this week it had received several expressions of interest from companies wanting to take it over and the aim is to get it re-opened in time for the summer season.

The Tory party has also questioned how the seafront attraction was allowed to run up such a backlog in rent and accused the ruling Liberal Democrat administration at Eastbourne Town Hall of keeping the park’s financial crisis a secret.

Nigel Goodyear, the Conservatives’ tourism spokesperson, said, “I have to say the Treasure Island closure came as a bit of a bolt out of the blue as the situation had not been shared with the Conservative councillors until the last minute.

“This is unlike the issues over the Wish Tower lease and the final accounts for the Towner Art Gallery - both of which are also causing us great concern but we had at least been kept in the loop.

“The fact that Treasure Island was allowed to run up a big deficit that results in its insolvency is alarming.

“After nearly four years of boasting about their financial prowess it makes me wonder what other skeletons may be in the Liberal Democrat closet.

“The priority for now must be to get the facility back open.

“At a time when the Liberal Democrats are proposing to spend £18 million on solar panels they need to resolve this issue quickly.

“That said the fact that the Congress Theatre is still shrouded in scaffolding costing more than £1,000 a month is not encouraging.”