Camelot Theme Park is to get a spectacular new white-knuckle ride even though the attraction is due to close in five years.

The Charnock Richard theme park will introduce Knightmare, one of the longest roller-coasters in the world at over 2,600 feet and one of only two in existence.

Work has already started preparing the site for the ride which has cost £3m and represents the biggest single investment ever made by owners Prime Resorts Limited at Camelot.

Prime Resorts announced last June that it was proposing to develop the land on which the 20-year-old theme park stands, creating a residential village with 1,000 new homes, plus all-year-round leisure facilities.

Roy Page, Prime Resorts Limited's chief executive, said: "At the time of that announcement we pledged our commitment to investing in Camelot for the foreseeable future.

"Knightmare shows we are determined to provide a fantastic day out for families and groups at Camelot for years to come."

He added that it underlines Camelot's commitment to maintaining its position as one of the most popular visitor attractions in the North West even though last June the company stated said it was "inevitable" that the theme park, which is suffering declining visitor numbers, will close during the next five years.

Mr Page described Knightmare, which reaches speeds in excess of 40 miles per hour, as a world class addition' to Camelot's list of attractions.

He added: "Knightmare is set to become one of the most talked-about rides in the region and will provide a major boost for Camelot in 2007."

Knightmare is expected to be in operation from late spring when it will be located alongside some of the other popular attractions at Camelot, including Excalibur Two, The Rack and The Whirlwind.

Camelot opens for the 2007 season on March 31.

Open days for peple wanting jobs at the theme park will be held at the park on Saturday, February 10 and Monday, February 12 from 10am to 2pm.