A major theme park operator has been named as the preferred bidder to develop a site on the shores of Loch Lomond.

Flamingo Land Ltd is on the brink of securing the 20 hectare site at West Riverside, Balloch, within Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, with plans to create a £30 million holiday resort.

The developer, which operates one of the UK's most successful holiday resorts in North Yorkshire, hopes to introduce lodges, a boutique hotel, hostel and glamping pods to the site, as well as a range of family attractions and restaurants.

Gordon Gibb, chief executive of Flamingo Land Ltd said: “We are excited by the prospect of creating a resort in the National Park that recognises the importance and sensitivity of the site.

"We see huge potential on the West Riverside and view this as a fantastic opportunity to create a family oriented attraction that supports the sustainable tourism objectives of the National Park.

"Loch Lomond is internationally recognised and opportunities like West Riverside are rare. We look forward to working with Scottish Enterprise, the National Park Authority and the local community of Balloch as we work up our detailed proposals for the site.”

Scottish Enterprise named the firm as the preferred bidder after it submitted plans for the family leisure resort, The Iconic Leisure Resort Loch Lomond.

The Scottish-owned company hopes to build on the existing success of Loch Lomond Shores which has seen visitor levels steadily increase over the last five years to 1.25 million visitors annually.

It will undertake a number of site investigations over the next year before submitting plans for consultation with the local community and then a formal planning application.

Derek McCrindle, director of growth sector at Scottish Enterprise said: “Since we developed Loch Lomond Shores in 2002 within Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park it has seen significant success.

"Building on this, West Riverside in Balloch has the potential to generate even more long term economic benefits for Scotland not only through job creation but by securing the National Park as a key international tourism destination.

“Following a stringent bidding process, Flamingo Land’s proposal – Iconic Leisure Resort Loch Lomond - clearly aims to recognise the key sensitivities of developing within Scotland’s National Park.

"This, together with its strong track record in creating visitor attractions – currently home to the third most popular tourist attraction in the UK – made it the developer of choice for this opportunity."

The announcement follows a series of "charrette" consultation events in Balloch earlier this year where the local community were given their say on what they wanted to see at the site.

Gordon Watson, chief executive of Loch Lomond & The Trossach National Park, said one of the key points to come out of that process was that locals want to see West Riverside more connected to Loch Lomond Shores and the village of Balloch.

West Dunbartonshire Council Leader Martin Rooney added: “This is fantastic news for West Dunbartonshire, with this major UK company planning to open its first Scottish attraction on the banks of Loch Lomond.

"We are committed to improving economic growth and employability across West Dunbartonshire, and this £30 million development would have a major impact on the local area. Jobs will be created and it will attract more people to visit, which will be extremely positive for the local economy.

"This is a key site for developing the future of Balloch and I look forward to seeing the full proposals.”