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attractions & MuseuMs Merlin bids for Living and Leisure


A recommended takeover bid for Asia-Pacific opera- tor, the Living and Leisure Australia Group (LLA), has been submitted by Merlin Entertainments Group. Merlin, one of the world’s


largest attractions operator, has made a bid that values LLA at around AU$140m (£90m, EUR107m, US$139m) on an equity value basis. LLA directors have backed


the offer, which will continue the expansion of Merlin’s existing Asia-Pacific opera- tions subject to the approval of LLA security holders. Nine destinations are owned and operated


Sydney Aquarium is one of the attractions owned and operated by LLA


by LLA through three divisions, which fea- ture the Oceanis Group aquariums and the Australia Alpine Enterprises ski fields. Te Australia Treetop Adventures attrac- tions are also part of LLA’s portfolio, with the


deal set to follow Merlin’s acquisition of Sydney Attractions Group earlier in 2011. Merlin CEO Nick Varney said: “Te acqui-


sition would open up new markets to us and facilitate the continuing roll out of the Sea Life, Madame Tussauds, Eye and Legoland brands in the Asia Pacific region.”


Milestone for Cheltenham museum project


A £6.3m redevelopment of Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum has moved forward with the completion of ground and foundation works for its new town centre building. It means that work can now


start on constructing the main concrete frame on the muse- um’s new extension, while some existing galleries are to undergo a refurbishment. Due to relaunch in 2013,


Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum will offer additional galleries; new open access stores/study facilities; and dedicated spaces for lifelong learning. A larger events/performance space is pro-


Te new-look Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum will launch in 2013 A Cheltenham Borough Council spokes-


posed as part of the scheme, which has received a £750,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund towards the overall cost.


person said: “Building for a New Future will transform Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum by greatly increasing its exhibition, display and other facilities.”


RBC calls for Magna Carta project backing


Runnymede Borough Council (RBC) has met with local residents and groups to discuss a project that would mark the 800th anniver- sary of the signing of the Magna Carta. A permanent visitor centre with interpre- tation area and facilities for community use


© CYBERTREK 2012


feature as part of the council’s plans for the scheme, which is due for completion in 2015. RBC chief executive Paul Turrell said a “solid


business case” is needed to secure the neces- sary funding, with community involvement a key component in the project’s success.


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