Families have expressed their fury after a Christmas experience for young children was cancelled due to ‘unforeseen circumstances’.
The North Pole Experience at Thoresby Park, in Nottinghamshire, was due to be held from November 13 to December 23 but was initially delayed due to a plague of issues, including supplier problems and the weather.
But organisers of the ‘magical’ experience, who charged visitors £31.99 a ticket, have now confirmed the event has been axed – leaving families fearing they may be left hundreds of pounds out of pocket.
Nursery teacher Sarah Mann, 48, who said she paid £200 for four tickets for December 19, said organisers had ‘let so many children down’.
Families have expressed their anger after the North Pole Experience at Thoresby Park, in Nottinghamshire, was cancelled by organisers. Pictured: A Christmas tent put up by organisers at the park
The North Pole Experience was due to be held from November 13 to December 23 but was initially delayed due to a plague of issues. Pictured: The ground on November 30
She told the BBC: ‘I had told the children we’d have this magical thing to look forward to,’ she said.
‘They should be ashamed of themselves, they’ve let so many children down. And it’s a lot of money for so many families.
‘It’s been the nightmare before Christmas.’
Elsewhere, Katie Wass, from Creswell, Derbyshire, who spent just over £200 for her, her husband and her two children to go to the event, said she was given news of the cancellation via Thoresby Park estate.
She told Derbyshire Live: ‘I started getting a few inclines this weekend because we’d heard that it had not opened up when it was supposed to, there were some rumblings on Facebook saying there was something going on but that was all hearsay.
‘Then we had the bad weather and it didn’t open again, they then sent an email out saying they’d had delays so they got behind with setting up but with our booking being December 18, I thought everything would be up and running by then and it would go without a hitch, but then we had a statement from Thoresby themselves.’
In a statement organisers of The North Pole Experience said: ‘It is with deepest regret and sadness that we have to send this message to you, our valued customers that unfortunately due to unforeseen circumstances ”The North Pole Experience” at Thoresby Park has been cancelled.
‘Our team have worked tirelessly over the past 12 months to build, create and deliver a magical experience for families this season.
‘With every obstacle thrown at our team we have overcome it however we are now in a position that unfortunately leads to this situation we are in now. From all of us we do sincerely apologise as we understand the heartbreak and stress this will cause to you.
‘Unfortunately we are not in a position to be able to provide you with further details at this moment in time.’
Ticket holders have been told to contact organisers directly via email.
They have also been told a further email will be sent within the next seven working days in regards to an update about the refund schedule.
MailOnline has contacted the organisers of The North Pole Experience for comment.
Organisers said a further email will be sent within the next seven working days in regards to an update about refunds
Gregor Matheson Pierrepont, director of the estate management company at Thoresby Park, said: ‘Thoresby Estate has a long and successful record of enabling external partners to host events here in North Nottinghamshire including Gloworm Music Festival, Dino Kingdom, the Stone Valley Music Festival and Winterfest which was held on Sunday.
‘We were approached by The North Pole Experience Ltd who were looking for a venue for their winter festival.
‘They seemed competent and were able to provide references and we hoped to enable another successful event to wrap up the year.
‘Unfortunately, this has not come to pass. The continued failure by The North Pole Experience to open, despite half completing their set up has disappointed us as much as anyone else.
‘The estate does not believe this is due to malice however the outcome is the same. North Pole Experience have failed to meet their obligations to us and to the public.
‘We encourage members of the public to obtain redress from The North Pole Experience Ltd.
‘As such we are instructing our legal advisors and therefore will be unable to make further statements. While responsibility for this situation rests with the event operator, the Estate would like to apologise for any disappointment.’
Last week Thoresby Park said they were seeking legal advice after he ‘North Pole Experience’ failed to meet their obligations to the public’ – with the festive ground only ‘half-completed’.
Speaking just before it was announced Thoresby Estate would be taking legal action, its events manager explained how the company appeared to be genuine.
Rod Nipper, events manager at Thoresby Park, said: ‘It’s a great shame, the original proposal was amazing but unfortunately, you have to take that on trust.
‘They have a previous track record in putting on theatrical productions and they passed all our usual checks with Companies House and that sort of thing, it did all appear kosher.’