Home sale pays for leisure park: Failed Battersea developer raises cash to complete latest project

JOHN BROOME, the leisure entrepreneur behind Alton Towers and the uncompleted redevelopment of Battersea Power Station, has sold his pounds 3m home in Cheshire to raise money to complete his latest project, the pounds 22m country sports estate, Carden Park.

The house, Stretton Hall, stands on the edge of the Carden Park estate and was sold for a sum, described by local estate agents as just 'shy' of pounds 3m, to Michael Taylor, who sold his plastics company, Taco Holdings, to Britton Group for pounds 32m earlier this year.

The sale has enabled Mr Broome to pay the final instalment of the pounds 22m cost of developing Carden Park, which he says will be officially opened on 1 November. 'Mr Broome was planning to sell the house in the spring and build a new house in the grounds (of Carden),' a spokesman said. 'By completing the deal at this time it has freed the money up to finish the project.'

Mr Broome's aides have dismissed rumours that Carden Park was facing difficulties and had been laying off staff as a result of the failure of Manchester to win its bid to host the 2000 Olympics. Mr Broome was on the Manchester 2000 committee, and the country house estate - which is 50 miles from Manchester - had been chosen as the location of seven Olympic sporting events.

'I don't think that was the raison d'etre for Carden,' said the spokesman. 'After all the Olympics would have been seven years away.'

Mr Broome, who sold Alton towers to Pearson three years ago for pounds 60m, has admitted losing around pounds 85m in the project to redevelop Battersea Power Station. The project, originally estimated at pounds 34m and supposed to open in May 1990, was hampered by the poor foundations of the massive brick building. The site has since been sold to the Wong brothers from Hong Kong.

The Carden Park estate covers 1,200 acres, a few miles east of Chester. Mr Broome has aimed it at the rich and the corporate hospitality market, with 25 sporting events on offer, including croquet, shooting and golf, on an 18-hole golf course and a 9-hole practice course.

Mr Broome has described Carden Park as 'the most exciting project I have ever undertaken'. He added: 'There is a huge demand for a sports resort like Carden, so not surprisingly I am looking forward to proving the gloom and doom merchants wrong again.'

His confidence on Carden is reminiscent of the confidence he once exuded in the Battersea project. That project, ceremonially renamed by Margaret Thatcher when she was prime minister, was said to be set to become 'the jewel in London's pleasure industry crown'.

Mr Broome said about the project's planned opening in May 1990 that if people arrived five minutes late they would miss it. Battersea is still a long way from opening.

(Photograph omitted)

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister
TVSPOILER ALERT: It's all coming together as series returns to form
Sport
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Voices
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
music
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvName confirmed for third series
Sport
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
art
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Neil Pavier: Management Accountant

£45,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you looking for your next opportunity for ...

Sheridan Maine: Commercial Accountant

£45,000 - £55,000: Sheridan Maine: Are you a newly qualified ACA/ACCA/ACMA qua...

Laura Norton: Project Accountant

£50,000 - £60,000: Laura Norton: Are you looking for an opportunity within a w...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine