Half-a-million-pound boost for North Devon tourist attraction
15:22 19 March 2014
Milky Way to celebrate 30th birthday by unveiling major investment this month.
THE Milky Way is set unveil a half-a-million-pound upgrade when it opens its doors for the new season next week.
Owners of the all-weather adventure park on the A39 near Clovelly have created a new wing with a tailor-made play centre for babies and under-sevens, and a café area for adults.
The attraction, which is celebrating its 30th birthday this year, has also introduced outdoor bouncing pillows for all ages and an eco-friendly bio-mass heating system.
There are further plans to add a ‘rustic-chic’ wedding and celebration venue later in the year.
Former dairy farmer Trevor Stanbury and wife Christine opened the Milky Way in 1984 when they were facing financial ruin after the introduction of milk quotas.
Mr Stanbury said the new investment signalled the family business’s commitment to the next 30 years.
“I can see a very bright future for us as a business,” he said.
“We’ve made a big commitment which we’re confident will be a success – local families will love it all as much as visitors to the area.
“It’s very exciting, and we can’t wait for the doors to open for the season so that the public can try the new facilities out.”
The Milky Way is also sharing this year’s feel-good factor by pledging to raise thousands for North Devon Hospice, which also celebrates its 30th year in 2014.
The attraction will be holding special events throughout the year, and donating £1 to the hospice for every person who attends.
Events planned so far include a visit by Peppa Pig on April 20, Fireman Sam and a real fire engine on May 25; and a classic car rally on Father’s Day on June 15.
Mr Stanbury, who was awarded an MBE for his services to tourism, said: “We wanted to celebrate our big birthday by adding even more fun things to do for all ages.
“My daughter Tara has recently joined my son Marten, daughter-in-law Jacqui and me in the business and we are excited to be pushing on into the future.
“We all bring a different perspective – it was Tara who, with an 18-month old son, saw that there was a gap in the market locally for something that was designed specifically for babies and toddlers, and suggested the whole new play area and classes.”
The all-weather ‘Little Stars’ play area features a multi-level soft play area; sensory room for babies; a room full of books; games and educational toys; dressing up area; and play pizzeria complete with kitchen, tables and food.
It will be open to all visitors from April 7. From mid-April the park will also be running fun developmental classes for babies and toddlers.