Ocean Parcs plans £50m Pontin’s renewal

Ocean Parcs, owner of family holiday group Pontin's, today announced plans to invest £50m in redeveloping and refurbishing its centres.

The Southport centre will be re-designed and rebuilt. Both are subject to planning approval. Pontin's Prestatyn Sands, in North Wales, will be completely refurbished. The Blackpool centre will receive new entertainment, catering and bar facilities.

Pontin's has three sites outside the North West in Somerset, East Sussex and Suffolk, which are also to be rejuvenated.

The company said the programme would help create 2000 new jobs.

Ian Smith, chief executive of Ocean Parcs and Pontins said half term, Easter and summer bookings were all "significantly up" in 2009.

Clarke Osborne, property director, added: "We have been working on our next generation of Holiday Centres for over nine months and I think that the results of this careful design strategy will be very well received by both our extensive and loyal customer base and new customers that are joining us each year. We have commenced dialogue with some of our local councils, business leaders and planners and received encouraging responses. This dialogue will be extended to all our Holiday Centres as it our intention to submit proposals for planning permission during the year."

Ocean Parcs paid £46m in 2008 to acquire Pontin's from Trevor Hemmings, owner of Blackpool Tower. Ocean Parcs was a new venture set up by former Pontins chief executive Graham Parr and ex-Matalan finance director Ian Smith.

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