A teenager’s petition to reopen a Derbyshire theme park has been receiving media attention for garnering over 7,500 signatures. But besides being a tale of industry and action, it represents an outlook often overlooked in forecasts, says Tom Rush.
When 18-year-old Declan Salmon started an online petition to reopen the former American Adventure park in Shipley, Derbyshire, he may well have been doing so due to sentimentality more than regional economic analysis, but the point he raised remains pertinent to both.
There is an assumption in some quarters that the youth of today are a group glued to phones and video games consoles. However, the American Adventure petition goes to show that there is still a place in popular consciousness for amusement parks, and that they must just be an economic shot in the arm some locations require.
Not only do such institutions maintain an ability to create incomparable memories in younger generations, but the economic knock-on effects of amusement parks can also be overwhelmingly positive.
Construction firms, park staff, and local hospitality all benefit from such destinations which can provide a focal point for a region’s tourism, and although an online petition is hardly likely to reopen a park long since closed it at least serves as a reminder of how relevant they can still be. And when it comes from a teenage guy who’s set up a petition off his own bat, it goes to show that amusements remains such an integral part of our community’s well-being.