Beauty spots to be sold off

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The Independent Online
CARAVAN and theme park operator Queensborough Holdings plans to sell its visitor attractions including the Cheddar Gorge, Lightwater Valley and the Needles Pleasure Park on the Isle of Wight, for up to pounds 20m to finance development of a restaurant division.

The chairman, Kevin Leech, plans three more Romano's Macaroni Grills to follow the first outlet, which is due to open at the Festival Leisure Park at Basildon in December. Last month Queensborough announced plans to buy 46 Deep Pan pizza restaurants from City Centre Restaurants for pounds 9.75m, refit them at a cost of pounds 6m and rebrand them as Fresco brasseries. The group yesterday reported a 35 per cent rise in profits to pounds 1.1m in the six months to the end of July on sales of pounds 22.1m, an increase of 20 per cent.