ONE of the UK’s number one theme parks in Romsey has announced details of a major expansion which will open in May next year.

Paultons Park representatives yesterday (July 4) unveiled project Tornado Springs – new plans to build a four-acre zone featuring over eight different rides and attractions.

It will be themed as a Midwest desert town in 1950s America, and the concept has been designed to appeal to a wide range of ages from three to 14.

James Mancey, operations director of Paultons Park, said: "We are extremely excited to bring Tornado Springs to the public next May.

"The new themed world represents the single largest and most ambitious investment in the future of Paultons Park since we opened in 1983.

"The Tornado Springs concept is unique to Paultons Park and will significantly extend our capacity to entertain and delight children of all ages."

The new attractions include the Storm Chaser rollercoaster – a free spinning ride, taking trains of carriages to a height of 20 metres above ground.

It will be the only rollercoaster of its type in the UK.

The Cyclonator will be a gyro swing spinning pendulum ride, carrying 30 riders at a time and rising to around 25 metres.

It is expected to become "the most thrilling ride" at Paultons Park.

Tornado Springs will also feature Al’s Auto Academy – a garage-themed driving school ride with 30 electric cars, which gives parents the opportunity to hop on board and help guide more novice younger drivers around the track – while slightly older children can take a classic American car out for a spin by themselves.

Two drop rides, the Buffalo Falls water raft ride, and Trekking Tractors will complete the line-up of rides.

The new resort will also offer Al’s Garage, a confectionery based shop; Route 83 Diner, a family restaurant; and two new playgrounds, Parking Lot Tots and Junkyard Junction.

James Mancey added: “We felt that the theming of Tornado Springs was a natural fit with the traditional family values with which Paultons Park is synonymous. "We’ve coupled the vibrant appeal and charm of the 1950’s era with best-in-class rides and attractions to create a truly unique world which, in association with our existing fantastic themed lands, will stand head and shoulders above any other family attraction in the UK."