NEARLY four years after Barry Island Pleasure Park re-opened under new management, its owner Henry Danter has given a progress report on the £20million project.

The 75-year-old showman, and his family, took over the 4.5-acre site in April 2015 – after the funfair had fallen into disrepair.

Mr Danter pledged to spend millions on the site, but in 2017 a court ruled that the owner of Barry Island funfair "put profit ahead of public safety" after Vale council officers said he was told there were structural concerns about one of its amusement arcades.

But now Mr Danter said work was progressing and developments would include new rides – including a £3million permanent white-knuckle ride to arrive no later than June 2020; plans for accommodation; some public toilets; and the installation of three giant dinosaurs.

Mr Danter said: “We’ve got some new rides coming in and some being refurbished at the moment, because they needed painting.

“There’s a new ride I’m negotiating to buy at the moment

“It’s big. It’s permanent. I’m buying it.

“It should be here no later than June.

“It’s a white-knuckle and I think it’s only the second one in the country

“It’s coming from Holland, KMG. It will be down next to the new scenic two cyclone rollercoaster.”

“It’s been an unbelievable season,” he said. “People don’t want to go to Porthcawl. They just want to come here. They just love it so much. They choose it because Henry Danter the showman’s here and he gives value for money and he gives people a day out, a day to remember. That’s my job. That’s what I do. I speak to nearly everybody who comes on this Park and wish them a good day and if there’s any problems come and see me

“We’re going to put a toilet block here as well. It’s got a disabled, it’s got a baby changing room, it’s got three ladies, two gents. It’s quite a big one. It’s an ex-army one. They are painting it now. It’ll be next to the scenic railway part two.

“We never stop working."

Mr Danter added: “We are very pleased with the response. I want to say thanks to the people of Barry for supporting us and making my dream come true that this is now the biggest park in Wales – west, north or south."

Mr Danter said the Teddy T's and Rumba Barry restaurants, which opened this year replacing The Dolphin, had been a “terrific” success and accommodation was next in mind.

Plans involve up to 25 units above the former Dolphin premises; 48 units, over two tiers, on the covered car park opposite the railway station; 48 units over two tiers on the former nightclub KR's site and 150 units on the corner of Friars Road and Paget Road, above the arcades.

“This is what Wales wants,” Mr Danter said. “This is for Barry Island to become the top tourist place in the whole of Wales and that’s been my dream, my passion, and my dream and passion looks like it’s coming true

“We’ve had more coaches than ever here. There are more schools coming because it is a good day out for the children at reasonable prices.

“It’s not just the success now of Barry Island and Barry.

“The whole of Wales will benefit from it because when people are come here, they will go to other parts as well. We get them from over the border. We are getting more bookings from London, the Midlands, a terrific amount from the Midlands they wouldn’t come here before because they said it was so run down.”

Mr Danter said he had spent £7million on the Park, so far, and wanted to spend another £13million.

“We’ve got to earn it to spend it,” he said. “I thought it would take five years just to get it going. We have the only Log Flume in Wales and we’ve got the biggest rollercoaster and the biggest big wheel in Wales as well as two dodgems,

“If they (people) come to Barry, they will always remember the day they spent on the park.”